by .

Well happy damn FriYAY to you all.

There’s been a weird debate going on in some of the sports media that needs to go juvenile to make money in 2022. I am juvenile, so I’ll lean right into the ‘GABI VS RICHARLISON’ argument.

  1. Spurs chased down Gabriel Jesus first. There isn’t a world where an elite club would do anything different. Attitude, technique, output, winnertivity… Gabi J has it all.
  2. The goals comparison is ridiculous, Richarlison starts all the games, Gabi does not.
    1. Richarlison’ Premier League record is a goal every 290 minutes
    2. Gabriel Jesus’ Premier League record is a goal every 160
    3. Minutes-wise, Richarlison has clocked 4672 more than Gabi (that’s 51 more 90 minutes). In that time Jesus, someone who isn’t a prolific starter of games, has 10 more goals and 14 more assists.
  3. Arsenal bought a serial winner for £45m, probably lower, because the selling club leaks. Spurs purchased a sulker for £60m that was part of the worst Everton side we’ve seen in years.

Arsenal has the better deal here.

I’m gonna go out on a limb. If Eddie Nketiah can score the same amount of goals as Richarlison in a season when he was largely ignored, I’m gonna predict he scores more than Richarlison next season.

£60m and the best defence of him I’m getting is ‘there’s a good player in there’… mate, there was a good player in Jermaine Pennant when he wasn’t vomiting on himself at training.

I’m honestly living in a parallel universe when I have Spurs fan in my mentions purring over Perisic, Forster, Bissouma (cleared of sexual assault, yay!), and a £60m forward that doesn’t really score goals.

Arsenal said goodbye to Matteo G. Good riddance. I’m just a bit gutted we gave him away for such a pitiful fee. He’s really been transformed under the guidance of a macho manager in Sampaoli. I wonder what would happen if that manager left?

… too late. He’s out the door. Utterly furious that Marseille didn’t sign Saliba. Now, that tells you something… maybe Matteo was kept in check by a manager who as a bigger nutter than him. We’ll see. Either way, amusing that William Saliba is so good, managers end their own careers over him.

Things feel slow elsewhere, but you always have to remember, that’s because you don’t know what’s going on… it’s not real.

Gabriel Jesus is done, it doesn’t matter where the announcement is, the content team takes care of that.

The Raphinha deal might be frustrating, but he’s not moved to anyone yet, and it sounds like a crazy deal by any standards.

Martinez was always going to be complicated because Ajax don’t want to sell him.

Getting angry at transfers on the internet is the oddest of quirks, but we all do it. Arsenal are clearly making moves, there’s clearly investment, we’ll win some, we’ll lose some, but make no mistake… we’ll end the summer in great shape.

Right, short one today, but while you wait, check out our podcast we recorded for Patreon on Wednesday. We’ll be releasing these after two day because they are news related.

We discuss Gabi J, Raphinha and if we’re that bothered, we talk Martinez, and Johnny weighs in on standards merchants.

Sign up to our Patreon FIRST. Then watch the content and deeply regret the purchase after.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Ishola70

    Having a midfielder that is more press resistant than Xhaka is handy against the majority of EPL opposition.

    Such a shame that it seems yet again that nothing will be done in this regard.

  2. China1

    We’re nearing the start of preseason…

    Starting 11 quality Cm….

    Please. It’s been about a decade we’ve been waiting. Let’s not do this any more please. Just go for a quality CM. Are we allergic to fixing the most important position on the entire pitch? This dates all the way back to when Gilberto left and DM became a perennial issue under wenger. As soon as Song looked good there, he got ahead of himself and started trying to play b2b and abandoning DM. Then sold. Coq wasn’t good enough. Ramsey was quality but lacked discipline. Can we just for ONCE have enough quality at Cm? Is it really *so* impossible?

  3. China1

    It’s literally been about 12 years since Gilberto left. Maybe more. In that time how many season have we had two players in the starting 11 in midfield who have the ability AND mentality to provide sufficient cover for the defense and get attacks started?

    We’ve had loads of great players in this period. What is it that makes CM so so hard to fix? Every single time quality players there come on the market, even at prices we can afford, we tend to look the other way. Meanwhile we historically load up relentlessly in other positions (used to be AM, more recently it was defenders, now we’re chucking huge sums at the wings…)

    How about just fixing the biggest weakness in our team? The one that’s been there since forever and coast is several points a season without fail year after year after year?

  4. raulishuss

    Starting cm isn’t the biggest issue in our team. We still don’t score enough goals. That is the biggest issue in our team

  5. Habesha Gooner

    Arteta thinks Xhaka is a sufficient player. We know he doesn’t think he is quality because he tried to offload him to Roma for peanuts and Roma didn’t want to pay that. But then he gave him a new deal.

    It has been a while since we had a genuine top CM at Arsenal. And it is in that time we have drifted off to a Europa league place. It is very annoying to be deliberating about it’s necessity when every Arsenal fan and his dog knows it is our weakest position in the starting 11.

  6. Bob N16

    Raul- signing a CF in Jesus is surely addressing the scoring issue. Signing an upgrade to Xhaka will result in much greater control and incisivenesses in CM which in turn should lead to an increase in our chances to score.

  7. Freddie Ljungberg

    “It is very annoying to be deliberating about it’s necessity when every Arsenal fan and his dog knows it is our weakest position in the starting 11.”

    Well, apparently not if you look above you…

    Since the Vieira+PetitgGilberto days we’ve had at most 1 great player in CM at a time, not counting one off purple patch seasons from some that didn’t last.

    It’s so obvious what’s needs to be done and still nothing happens window after window, so frustrating.

  8. Goobergooner


    Every top team in the world has a a properly functioning midfield.

    With partey out, we have only ode capable of doing something special in the centre of the pitch.

    If we get in a proper baller, we will actually be able to utilise the whole pitch not just the wings.

    It will also hopefully link up the defense and forward line quicker and more directly, which will allow our forwards to actually have space to break into, rather than slow ponderous play which a massive chunk of the time let’s the opposition reset.
    It will mean we don’t have to rely on our CBS to be the creative players.
    It will also mean if we get someone that isn’t an lamp post in the middle we could take more risks playing forward, as we will have better defence against counters.

    We have seen so much of it over the years we play a high line, yet our whole midfield is bypassed by one ball and then it’s just retreating like a mofo.
    Not sure if it was white last season, just jockeyed a player from the halfway line into his own box, can’t remember if we conceded but was horrible to watch.

    Midfield is absolute key. And our forwards would do a hell of a lot better if 1) we win the ball higher up the pitch,
    2) have a sense of security we don’t get as easily beat on the counter, 3) our midfield can actually find the forwards in spaces. 4) we can combine better from deeper to get our attacks started quicker.

    None of these things happen with xhaka

  9. Goobergooner

    White was meant to do wonders for our attack.
    And I think he will get better at dictating the play back there. But why not just get a midfield engine that actually gets into the other half and can do something

  10. Ishola70

    “Starting cm isn’t the biggest issue in our team.”

    If you get a good central midfield this can have lots of benefits to many aspects of the side.

    Besides who wants to be a lop-sided team that is better in some areas and weaker in others.

    Mind you I think you have been one of the dwindling Xhaka enablers along with Pedro now of course.

    If we want to get serious about challenging the best it has to be sorted. Can’t keep postponing it.

  11. Aasim

    Serge should be an Arsenal player before the end of this window. Has to be done. Simple, easy, intent on both sides, quality unquestionable, it’s just a no freakin brainer. It will be done iA.

    Get him, Tielemans and LB cover, that’s our window done

  12. Ishola70

    Arteta’s disregard for CM doesn’t just apply to Xhaka.

    It showed in the extension to Elneny as well.

    I don’t want to hear about Elneny being a good professional. He is overall an average player.

  13. Mulerise14

    A big Amen to that Aasim….prefer him to even raphinha as he is ambidextrous and can play both wings with aplomb…….is there any leg to us moving to get Federico Dimarco from Inter if Martinez doesnt work out? anyone?

  14. Ishola70

    Wenger used to stack in other areas other than midfield because the club were a bit skint at times and Wenger had to make a decision on where to put that money in the side.

    I don’t see such excuses for Arteta though now do you regarding financial.

    That Xhaka arrived during Wenger’s tenure is a blot on Wenger though. Not good.

    Wenger didn’t sign him? I find it hard to believe that Wenger didn’t give approval.

    Wenger used to like signing some players that had “succeeded” in life after overcoming some adversity in their early private life years. Some African purchases spring to mind.

    Wenger would have liked Xhaka’s early life story. It would have appealed to him.

  15. Ishola70

    Wenger had his African period.

    Then he had a little Balkan period.

    He liked that aspect many times of players as said before that overcame from early adversity.

    I suppose it was thought that this showed good character. Strong mentality.

    Unfortunately this didn’t apply to Xhaka. I have the feeling Xhaka was very much over-indulged after his very early years. There is a spoilt aspect to him.

  16. Vintage Gun

    Get Gnabry, I know its far from easy, but get Gnabry. I know we’re not in the CL. But get Gnabry, High wage? Indeed, still get Gnabry.

    Gnabry————– Jesus—————-Saka


  17. Ishola70


    “up to ironically the season he bought xhaka”

    His Balkan splurge.

    Mustafi also had an overcoming adversity story to give to Wenger.

  18. Mr Serge

    Serge should be an Arsenal player before the end of this window. Has to be done. Simple, easy, intent on both sides, quality unquestionable, it’s just a no freakin brainer. It will be done iA.

    I am well past my sell by date at this point 😃

  19. Mysticleaves

    Tbf, Wenger didn’t sign Xhaka the way he used to sign other players. Stats DNA threw him up and Wenger had to buy him. Gazidis had openly started taking some of the Wenger control on signings so that was what brought in Xhaka.

    Never seen Wenger second guess a player the way he did xhaka. He thought he was a b2b at the time of signing.

  20. TR7

    🚨 Arsenal are said to see Lisandro Martinez primarily as a left-back. Mikel Arteta’s side are pushing for his signature. [@TheAthleticUK]”

    Unless he is being signed primarily as a DM, I don’t see the point in spending north of £35M for Lisandro.

  21. Ishola70

    Don’t believe it.

    Wenger had to give the nod to the Xhaka signing.

    And remember despite Xhaka’s obvious weaknesses he was seen as quite a technical player. Nice left foot. Wenger would have liked those aspects at least.

    The latch key story from Xhaka though probably sealed the deal for Wenger.

  22. China1

    Lone of the reasons (there are a few) that we don’t score enough goals is because we aren’t good at controlling the midfield. We aren’t good at beating the press which helps start quick counters, incredibly useful for creating chances a few seconds down the line – we also struggle to impose ourselves and dominate midfield and have to constant manage our formation to protect ourselves from our weaknesses there

    Put a great CM in that position like young Cesc, Alonso, Kante, etc etc and the midfield jumps up levels and our attack will feel a clear benefit

  23. DivineSherlock

    Brentford has an agreement with Bologna for Aaron Hickey for a fee £14.25m rising upto £17m with addons . Currently not looking good for the Left back position for Arsenal.

  24. China1

    I don’t know if hickey is the level we need but if he is then at that price and if it’s only brentford after him we should be on that

  25. Bob N16

    Just what I said China.

    Also agree with Ishola’s post, just as we don’t want players with obvious deficiencies that have to be accommodated, all areas of our team need to function complimenting each other. It’s obvious to say it this is the time of year when we can get players in to allow Arteta to play in a way that will allow all the players to function to the best of their ability.

    That said this window, we’ve needed to upgrade Tavares, Xhaka, Soares, Leno, Pepe and Laca; any supporter with a modicum of intelligence knows this. So far Laca’s upgrade has been addressed as has Leno’s replacement but the other four haven’t. Viera could be seen as a Pepe upgrade I suppose, Marquinhos can’t be expected to hit the ground running.

    Obviously Saliba is the classic ‘ like a new signing’ who may provide a RB back up for TT ( him personally or alternatively using White outside him).

    Another LB and CM has to and will come in. Still feel Tielemans is going to happen but with Chelsea and ManU having money burning a hole in their pockets, who knows?

  26. WengerEagle

    Why not just sign a LB that plays as a LB? What’s with all this converting CBs into FBs?

    I love Tomiyasu but he doesn’t offer much of an offensive threat down the right flank. Another primarily defensive FB means most of our creativity will have to cone through the middle and that means better players from deep than Xhaka and fecking Elneny.

  27. Db10 legend


    He keeps buying defenders and yet no real improvement defensively. In fact if Ramsdale hadn’t been like superman in the early games it could of been worse.

  28. Ishola70


    “I love Tomiyasu but he doesn’t offer much of an offensive threat down the right flank”

    Wasn’t that said by some when he first signed and some posters took offence.

    He does make some bursting runs at times but not really a natural attacking fullback.

  29. Rich

    “What’s all this converting centre backs into full backs”

    In order to get 5 attacking players onto the pitch, that usually comes at the expense of aggressive full backs, there’s also asymmetrical versions of the system .

    The full backs jobs are to play as defensive midfielders in possession, to progress the ball into the final third, beat the press, read the game well, win the ball back early, and help pin opponents in their own half.

    This then allows for a second No8, 2 wide players, and a striker to be on the pitch at the same time.

    Full backs will still occasionally get forward, but won’t be positioned in a similar way to Tierney in 2020/21, where we tucked Xhaka in behind him.

    Tucking Xhaka in behind Tierney came at the expense of a second No8

    Most the top teams play a 5 + 5 system

    You can’t play 2 attacking full backs, 2 No8s, 2 wide players, and a striker, because that’s 7 attacking players, and would leave teams defensively vulnerable to a counter attack.

    There’s different ways of doing it, Liverpool play aggressive full backs, but that usually comes at the expense of attacking midfielders, because they place their 3 central midfielders as a shield around their 2 centre backs

    Both their wide forwards are inverted, which creates the overload on the outside for their full backs.

  30. Ishola70

    If you are seen as an expansive side really both your fullbacks should be capable to cause a real threat offensively when they come forward as we see with the two best teams in the land Man City and Liverpool.

    Man City linked heavily to the Brighton boy with the big mop who plays really as a wing back shows what teams are looking for.

    Trent-Arnold takes it to extremes though.

  31. GD4

    Such a stupid club.
    The game changer in midfield is now
    in Tottenham colors.
    Only Edu and Arteta could blow such an
    obvious move

  32. kgunner

    There is no point hating spurs, their fans, their players for what they beleive in. They are a football team we simply should beat by a huge margin every single match, every single half.
    They are a set of players, management, people who enjoy winning as much as we do. At the end of the day ita about who tried harder for it and some luck.
    And vile comments about them, disregarding their abilities isn’t going to get us there.
    Support for Arsenal matters to me as a fan, hate to Tottenham isn’t a part of it. They are just another team to beat, mercilessly on field

  33. Rich

    Arsenal had something like the 11th or 12th highest defensive line in 2020/21

    Last season we had the third highest defensive line only behind City + Liverpool, there was a clear shift in style

    If we want to play a higher defensive line without leaving ourselves vulnerable, and pin teams in their own half

    Then we need defenders with the athletic profile to cover the space in behind, a keeper with a good passing range to beat the press, defenders who read the game well, and win the ball back early, and who have the technical quality to progress the ball from back to front under pressure.

    Once a team can show it can beat the opponents press, this creates doubt, and forces them to sit deeper, from there you control the game.

    There’s a reason Pep has a squad littered with £50million + defenders, there’s a reason VVD , Alisson + Fabinho transformed Liverpool defensively, and Liverpool looked shaky when Van Dijk was injured 2 seasons ago.

    Fixing the defence allows teams to control the game, Pep spent £220 million on defenders and a keeper after finishing 3rd + pot-less in his first season

  34. WengerEagle

    What a load of nonsense Rich.

    Man City play like that, can you name me one other top side that have FBs that operate in possession in the middle as DMs?

    And City’s FBs are natural FBs. Walker and Cancelo have played at fullback their entire career before City. They are not left and right CBs converted into FBs like Tomiyasu and now seemingly Martinez.

    When we have a team and a midfield like City’s that domiante the ball against literally anyone, then is the time to get experimental with this CB into FB conversions perhaps.

  35. Ishola70

    Freddie L

    “Amadou Onana, our latest linked CM/DM. No idea about the price though, haven’t seen one mentioned. Considering he’s only 20 he looks like a beast in the making.”

    It’s not a signing that is going to oust Xhaka from midfield though is it this coming season if it did happen.

  36. Ishola70


    “Edu’s redemption is taking a blow”

    All premature talk wasn’t it.

    Should really wait until the window closes before big proclamations but this hasn’t been the case with it being described as the “best ever” Arsenal transfer window in history at one point not too long ago.

  37. Freddie Ljungberg


    I haven’t really watched him more than a couple of youtube clips so can’t say for sure, he does look very good defensively and capable in attack. I know I would sell Xhaka for him in an instant but Arteta seems oddly attached to the Swiss slug so who knows

    He wouldn’t be my first choice, that’s probably Nunes followed by Sangare, but considering the likely lower fee and massive potential it could be worth a punt.

  38. WengerEagle

    A large part of PSGs struggle has been down to a lack of quality at full-back and offensive threat.

    Hakimi and Nuno Mendes haven’t really worked out as signings. The last top FB performer they had was Bernat at LB. RB has been a long-term issue for them and they have tried to be clever with the CB at FB move with Kehrer as the RB and it was a disaster. He got torn apart by Coman/Davies in the CL Final and offered zero threat going forward.

    As Ishola says, if you lack attacking quality with your full-backs it makes you more predictable and teams will pack the middle.

  39. Ishola70

    Freddie L

    Very unlikely a 20yo is going to come in and take Xhaka’s place in the side this coming season.

    It just doesn’t happen really.

    Whether we like it or not unfortunately Xhaka is an established player in the side.

    There would have to be a more serious move in the market to replace Xhaka and it looks as if there is still not a will to do it.

  40. Goobergooner

    “Then we need defenders with the athletic profile to cover the space in behind, a keeper with a good passing range to beat the press, defenders who read the game well, and win the ball back early, and who have the technical quality to progress the ball from back to front under pressure.”

    That also includes partey and xhaka in our side. Preferably you’d win the ball before the CBS have to step in. Obviously not how it plays out every single time, but having defenders good with the ball and against the press is great, but if tets wants everyone including the striker to press and “defend from the front” why should xhakas position be absolved from the responsibility?

  41. Bob N16

    Ishola, I’d put a lot of money on Tielemans coming. I reckon Arsenal have said don’t worry, we’re coming in for you but we don’t want Leicester to drive too hard a bargain. Could lose my money of course!

  42. Rich


    Try reading properly, there’s asymmetrical versions of it…..

    We’ve played asymmetrical versions of it, with our left back playing much higher, we’ve also mirrored it on a few occasions, when we’ve played Xhaka at left back, when Tierney has been injured

    Liverpool have occasionally played Thiago further forward, and tucked Trent inside as a right sided defensive midfielder

    Man City did something similar with Delph for a while, and had big succcess with it

    When they had Mendy playing on the left, they’d tuck Bernardo in behind, and they’ve done something similar on the right with Walker who’s more aggressive

    Last season Tierney played much deeper, which allowed Xhaka to play a bit further forward

    Tomiyasu is pretty good on the ball, his ambidextrousness allows for him to switch play, and open up the game, if we can keep him fit, he’ll be a snip at £17 million.

    I’m not suggesting we play with inverted full backs, but if you look at the way we’re evolving the squad, it certainly suggests Arteta favours more withdrawn full backs, and evolving the team to play with 2 No8s

  43. Mysticleaves

    Arteta hasn’t finished learning the ropes as a coach/manager and he wants to be clever with tactics 😂😂 Goodluck with that.

    Basic “give, go, space, receive” in midfield triangles we haven’t learned. It’s the FB tucked into DM thing we want to try. It’s ok.

    We barely run rings around any team (control possession and play teams to submission). Even the lowest ones. Everyone seems fitter and faster than us in the middle. That needs addressing, not complex formation that only ever worked for Pep.

  44. Ishola70


    “Last season Tierney played much deeper, which allowed Xhaka to play a bit further forward”

    And what is the point of that may I ask?

    Most recognise that Xhaka isn’t very good further forward .

  45. Ishola70

    We can never play give and go cohesive football in the middle as long as Xhaka is in there.

    It’s going to be fragmented and stop start or give it to the flanks.

  46. WengerEagle


    ‘Nonsense’ was harsh.

    It would make sense for off the ball when opponents spring quick counter attacks as our FBs would be in much better positions to win the ball back and snuff out attacks.

    I don’t really see how it would help us going forward. Saka and ESR as of now will be our starting widemen next season. Both like to come in and link up as well as get sight of goal, the middle would be very congested if we also had FBs that do not push aggresively high up the pitch.

    Walker, Cancelo and even Zinchenko are all comfortable mixing it up with ocassionally dropping into CDM as well as aggressively pushing up high as a RWB/LWB to provide the outlet. Zinchenko did this to amazing effect in the final day game vs Villa and was involved in a couple of the goals in this way if you look back.

    You need guys that can mix it up and do both. The jury is still out on Tomi going forward a bit even though he has proven to be solid defensively.

  47. Goobergooner

    Our counter attacks are soooooo slow.

    I don’t get it at all. Especially when we had auba who’s whole career has been built on getting in behind the defence. We have martinelli who would prosper as well as Saka and Eddie, now Jesus. If we don’t pick up the pace this season in that aspect it will just be more of the same crab ball

  48. Goobergooner

    So many opportunities to feed someone in behind yet it’s look up, see the pass, stop and turn around instead. An efficient counter only needs 2-4 players getting forward, not like it’s a massive risk giving it a crack.

    Need that handbrake off this season. Arteta will have his squad, so no excuses either for boring predictable football

  49. Goobergooner

    “Never seen Wenger second guess a player the way he did xhaka. He thought he was a b2b at the time of signing.”

    Hahaha yeah b2b xhaka still makes me laugh

  50. Nigel Tufnel

    Norton Cuffy celebrating his medal. Seems like he’s got loads of potential.

    If you haven’t seem him before look him up.

    One productive loan this season and get him in the team there following season.
    Another reason it’s great that Tomiyasu can play on the left too.

  51. Pierre

    “Most recognise that Xhaka isn’t very good further forward .”

    Like a fish out of water i said at the time, and nothing i have seen since has made me change my mind.

  52. Pierre

    Nigel Tufnell
    “Norton Cuffy celebrating his medal. Seems like he’s got loads of potential.If you haven’t seem him before look him up.”

    He won’t make it at Arsenal, he was one of our (England’s) more average players during the tournament..

  53. Goobergooner

    I only have one proper fond memory of xhaka, when he turned out of the box to beat a player then nuttied another player which then if I’m not mistaken the resulting phase of play resulted in a goal. Can’t even remember who it was we were playing. Haha if only xhaka could do that every game

  54. andy1886

    Sorry, don’t get this fascination with copying Pep and City. ‘Modern football’ as some would have it is just the latest fad in the game, there have been dozens previously and will be dozens more that follow. Every previous iteration was also the ‘modern’ game and all were replaced by something else.

    If we truly did have a ‘generational’ coach he’d be looking at evolving the game, not getting on the bandwagon belatedly.

    Someone will come along and make Pep’s ideas look antiquated. I’d rather it was us looking to the future than clinging onto City’s coat tails.

  55. Rich


    I’m not suggesting we do this, I’m just trying to explain why we’re trying to fix the defence, and why it’s so important to the way we attack.

    Last season we played with the 3rd highest defensive line, which was a big jump from 2020/21, when we were 11th or 12th

    If we’re trying to spend a lot of money on a left back, who’s statistically a ball progressing machine, that would suggest that we’re going to be playing with 2 No8s

    We clearly don’t see Martinez as a player who’s going to be running up and down the line, consistently creating overlaps on the outside, listening to Ajax fans who watch him every week, that’s not his game.

    We’ll probably miss out, but attempting that signing tells us something.

    Arteta has said we wants more final third technicians, in 2020/21, we had 8 centre backs, but no fit or registered attacking midfielders

    We’ve since signed Odegaard, Vieira, and developed Smith Rowe, we’ve also been linked with Tielemans

    The arguments I’ve made for both Emery + Arteta was that I didn’t believe their pragmatism was through choice, but more necessity, if we’d pushed the likes of Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis, 15 yards up the pitch, we’d have been like lambs to the slaughter

    Luiz had the passing range, but we had to offset that by with surrounding him 2 other centre backs, to cover for his lack of mobility, and the others were bang average defenders at best.

    Our squad is now evolving in a clear + concise way, it’s pretty clear to me what we’re trying to do.

    I flat don’t care how we evolve the squad, as long we have exceptional players, secure our talent, and get our talent ID on point

    But if you can’t see what we’re attempting to do, then you’d better get yourself down to SpecSavers

    Regarding goals from Saka + Martinelli, they’re both 20, we need competition/cover for Saka

    But I’m convinced both will have more end product next season

  56. andy1886

    Pierre, yes I watched the U19’s too. BNC looked like a typical Wenger full back – decent going forward but suspect as an actual defender. Maybe he’ll work on that side of his game, maybe that’s the way he’ll always be. Time will tell.

  57. WengerEagle

    I wouldn’t be holding my breath on all of these lads from the acaddny the way a few seem to be doing. Azeez, Patino, etc.

    It is exceptionally rare for academy players at the club to go on to be real fixtures in the XI long-term. Before Saka and ESR you had Bellerin 5 years previous and then Wilshere 4 years previous to that.

    We have already exceeded that count with ESR and Saka and Eddie looks as if he will at least be a decent back up ST and will be involved in the squad too.

    Patino is the same age as Jack was breaking through for context and the latter looked a men amongst boys while the former looked a boy against Forest.

  58. Ishola70

    How is this going to work though Rich with Xhaka involved this evolving high line?

    We may have finished a close fourth last season but most recognise we were not bossing many games season just gone and you are going to vulnerable with a high line with Xhaka involved.

    Must we keep accomodating him with as you said earlier Tierney playing deeper to cover for Xhaka. Playing your best attacking full back deeper to accomodate Xhaka’s weakness.

  59. Gbadebo Ojomo

    Pedro is a wonderful writer.. and I share in most of his views.. But he fucking compares a lot.. if it’s not club comparison.. it’s manager comparison.. now, we have started comparing players.. Mehn! The main goal is winning and making fans happy with beautiful style of play.. so let’s stop this fucking comparison.. For Christ loving sake, our comparison is putting Tot’ham in a greater light than Arsenal.. That’s the fucking truth.

  60. Soham

    Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

    Manchester United official proposal for Lisandro Martínez, better than Arsenal’s one but not enough yet. AFC are still there. #MUFC Man United also pushing to agree on personal terms with Lisandro – ten Hag, key factor. Lisandro will ask Ajax to leave, as he wants PL move

  61. WengerEagle


    So how would we line up then in this formation? Who is providing width with all these central players?

    There is not a single team worldwide including Pep and City that lack the option to penetrate teams from wide areas as well as central ones. This all screams of Arteta trying to be too clever for our own good and reinvent the wheel in a footballing sense.

    If you have no outlet wide you are going to be one-dimensional. We do not have wide foreards that like to stay wide, they are inverted midfielders really.

    If you remember Henry had a segment talking about Pep’s Barca and how he would go absolutely ballistic if you vacated your position on the pitch and how Henry had to provide that outlet at LF even though he preferred to play in Eto’os/Messi’s position.

  62. Chris

    I would laugh if Raphina went to Barcelona after Chelsea fans were lording it over us by getting him over us.

    But how an Earth are Barcelona going to pay for him if they are a billion in debt?

    Personally I’m not sure £65 million is worth it for Raphinha, is he really that great? Very good but not worth that kind of outlay That £65 million should go on that world class midfielder, the best we could get anyway. Lots of talk of Xhaka here today I see, but it’s all valid. We will simply not progress into the title challenging team we want to be with Xhaka as a regular starter.

  63. WengerEagle

    Sounds like Ten Hag will sway Martinez’s decision here and if Utd are offering more money on top of that…

    Move on down the list. I hate that we never seem to have alternatives or a contingency plan in place if it goes tits up on a target.

  64. Nigel Tufnel


    “How can a guy that played with Santi, Ramsey and Wilshere on top of their game think that Xhaka is enough?
    He also saw and coached the likes of Gundogan, B.Silva, David Silva and Debruyne.”

    I wonder the same thing… I actually heard great scouting reports on Guimares in early January..
    I assume that we thought Tielemans was worth waiting for, and I agree, as long as we don’t Fk it up.

    Reports in Italy say we have interest in Ruiz, and maybe he is the backup plan?

    Either way, we can’t ignore the need in that position. It’s what will unlock everything for our game. Makes Ødegaard better, creates overloads and makes more opportunities for every one of our forwards.

    I can’t believe we won’t take care of this. Would be shocking malpractice. I expect we’ll do the right thing, but maybe not as soon as we’d like.

  65. Mysticleaves

    I don’t even get why Barcelona wants to get Raphina if I am being honest. He doesn’t seem like their kind of player. And 65m is a whole lot of money for him. They have already matched the bid by Chelsea anyway so It’s just a matter of time now to finalise the move. #herewego

  66. Leftside

    We were first linked with Martinez a fortnight ago. If we are bidding for players in demand we need to put in serious bids in a timely manner, otherwise other clubs will attain our targets.

    Not to do the Pedro Spurs thing but I’m sure I only heard of Spurs interest in Richarlison a week ago. He has already been signed.

    Derisory bids will always get laughed out of the room.

  67. WengerEagle

    Barca are a bit of a mess Mystic.

    Selling their best midfielder in Frenkie De Jong to get his wages off the books (300k a week+). Think he was one of their last Bartomeu contracts.

    How a 34 year old Lewandowski and Raphinha fit into Xavi’s Barca revolution I do not know.

  68. Graham62


    Barcelona are the teachers pet as far as UEFA are concerned.
    Rules don’t apply as far they’re concerned.
    Football has not been played on a level playing field for twenty years.
    Agree with your take on Xhaka.

  69. Chris

    Barca are £850 million in debt, they cannot even register the signings of Christensen and Kessie as they cannot afford to. Somehow they are also redeveloping the Nou Camp for around a billion. Where is all this money coming from and how are they not in deep shit with FFP etc?

  70. TR7

    I don’t mind missing out on Lisandro if Arteta sees as a defender. I am tired of Arsenal hoarding defenders and still conceding more goals.

  71. Chris

    The Xhaka debate is an aged one isn’t it Graham but it’s so true. Simply not good enough and personally central midfield would be the number one priority this window.

    I obviously won’t judge until the end of the window and I do like very much who the club has brought in so far.

  72. Ishola70

    It’s alright getting in bodies for different areas defence, attack etc but we need to see Arteta’s playing style evolve this season.

    Just throwing bodies at it without this evolving isn’t going to make the mark.

  73. TheBayingMob

    How can we have gone so far into protracted negotiations for players that have absolutely no desire to come play for us? Edu is a clown.

  74. raptora

    Barcelona on Thursday announced they had sold 10 percent of their Liga television rights for 25 years to U.S. investment group Sixth Street for 207.5 million euros ($215.5 million).

    “Sixth Street will initially invest €207.5 million and in return will receive 10% of the Club’s LaLiga TV rights for the next 25 years,” Barca said in a statement.

    The deal will allow Barcelona, beset by financial problems, to end the fiscal year that closes this Thursday in profit.

    Catalan sports daily Sport reported that otherwise Barca “would have ended the financial year with a loss of 150 million euros.”

    “With this transaction, FC Barcelona generates a total capital gain of €267 million for the current season,” said the club statement.”

    In May, Real agreed a deal with Sixth Street and Legends which it called “a premium experiences company for sports and live venue organisations, for 30 percent of revenue “sports and live venue organisations” at the Bernabeu Stadium, which is being redeveloped, for 20 years for 360m euros.

  75. Chris

    “Honestly this window is now looking a joke and a complete farce”

    We should refrain from saying this while there is still plenty of time to go in the window.

    With Jesus now signed up we need to secure that baller of a central midfielder who is going to transform our play. This to me is more important than another LB, WF etc. not saying those positions wouldn’t be a good idea to add to but priorities and all that.

  76. Terraloon


    Barca are £850 million in debt, they cannot even register the signings of Christensen and Kessie as they cannot afford to. Somehow they are also redeveloping the Nou Camp for around a billion. Where is all this money coming from and how are they not in deep shit with FFP etc?

    They really are mortgaging their future.

    It would appear that they have sold off a chunk of their retail arm and 10% of their future Tv revenue but now they seem to be selling of yet another 10% .

  77. raptora

    Bringing a 40m LB when we already have Tierney there is not that different to signing White for 50m when we already had Saliba. At least White’s main position is a CB. Zinchenko such an obvious choice but there are a lot of others that are really good too. Like this guy Lisandro has 10 games at LB in his career…

  78. Pierre

    “Eddie looks as if he will at least be a decent back up ST and will be involved in the squad too.”

    Ha ha , just admit that you wrong about Eddie and be done with it.
    He was” involved in the squad” last season barely , due to Arteta’s incompetance .
    This season Arteta will find it very difficult to leave him out of the starting line up and i look forward to hearing you struggle to give him any credit for his Performances.

  79. Pierre

    “AMN very good as a back up full back. No need to sign any other defender.”

    Exactly ….either full back positions., though i would like Martinez for cm.

  80. WengerEagle

    Eddie did very well at the back end of the season Pierre but we need to see it over a longer period before you can proclaim being a visionary with him.

    You said the same thing about Willock as he was enjoying his purple patch, we then smartly sold him for £25m to Newcastle and saw it was indeed a purple patch and he produced an average at best season there.

    I hope that Eddie makes it here but I honestly still doubt he will be our future no.1 ST. It seems that Arteta feels the same way given how much is being invested fee and wages into Jesus.

  81. InsideRight

    If Edu and Arteta bring in Arthur Melo, despite the fact he couldn’t hack it at Barca and has stunk out the place at Juve so badly they are absolutely desperate to offload him, then they will lose all credibility. A player who is so poor and overlooked in Serie A has no business playing for an EPL side with ambitions of making top 4.

  82. Bob N16

    A lot of posters are oversimplifying the way

    Take Martinez for example: Ajax have no financial need to sell, he won their player of the year therefore they’re thinking must be let’s try and drive the price as high as possible. If Arsenal had come in with a bid of say £40m it is quite likely that they would still have contacted Ten Haag and said ‘ how much are you willing to pay?’

    With Tielemans, I suspect Arsenal have said ‘ sit tight, we’ll get you later in the window so Leicester don’t drive the price up too much,we’ll be able to pay you better if we pay less for you in transfer fees’.

    We all want the transfers done and dusted but we have to be realistic unless of course you want to have an excuse to attack the club/Edu/Arteta, if so crack on!

  83. Marko

    Can we please stop with the AMN nonsense please. He continues to be a major disappointment. Should have taken the 20 million from whoever the fuck when we had the chance

  84. WengerEagle

    Well that would have been a no-brainer and is still one of the thickest decisions we have made as a club.

    Rejected £20m for AMN only to let him rot on the bench and then loan him out to West Brom in Jan anyway.

    I doubt we would even get £10m for him now because he has done nothing of note anywhere since then.

  85. FoxInTheBox

    “How can we have gone so far into protracted negotiations for players that have absolutely no desire to come play for us? Edu is a clown.”

    Yeah… and Arteta is not!

  86. WengerEagle


    Ajax are a selling club like Porto, Benfica, Monaco, etc. They will sell Martinez because they know they can replace him at a fraction of the price given their elite scouting network.

    They are not in the business of hoarding onto players. Martinez could suffer any injury or have an underwhelming season and see his value plummet. They will not take that risk. If we do not sign him, Utd will.

  87. Graham62


    If Eddie had played when he should have played, Arsenal would have comfortably made top 4.

    You are right, all down to one man’s incompetence.

    That’s not being negative, just stating the obvious.

  88. raptora

    It was Wolves who had a first offer of 15m that was going to be 20m eventually, the price tag we had on his head. Then Arteta spoke after AMN had another good game in our win vs Liverpool in the Community Shield how he’s super happy with AMN’s progress and all that and it all ended there. We cut the conversations with Wolves and here we are 2 years later and it wouldn’t have made a difference if he was sold 2 years ago to him staying here other than we’ve lost a shit ton of money. That’s how bad things turned out. The Arteta special ofc.

  89. Dissenter

    Looks like United will sign Lisandro Martinez easily.
    The player wants to connect with the manager who’s managed him since he moved to Europe in 2019. It’s nothing to do with Arteta or Arsenal’s profile.

    It’s possible the we heaped premature praised on Edu
    Now it’s time to earn his money, he has to unleash his algorithms and pivot to the other players on his spread sheet.

  90. Ishola70

    AMN never has had the consistent mentality to be a nailed on first team starter.

    Obvious error from Arteta in not letting him go earlier.

  91. Bob N16

    WengerE, I’m not suggesting Ajax won’t sell Martinez, I was simply pointing out that it helps their selling position to appear to not be fussed about whether they sell Martinez in this window and an auction between two rich PL teams is an ideal scenario to exact the highest price.

    My point was that getting transfers over the line isn’t as straightforward as some posters on here seem to believe.

    Artur Melo is the equivalent of a product on the ‘past the sell by date’ in supermarkets. His agent is trying his hardest!

  92. Dissenter

    The audacity of Pedro moaning about why we only got £9 million for Guendouzi
    He’s sound the better part of the last 3 seasons bashing the kid, applauding Arteta when he ran him out of the club.
    £9 million is what you get for a player who’s not wanted by his home club. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

  93. Rich


    Saka + Martinelli are regularly stationed out on the touchline, both provide plenty of width, and have the ability to go on the inside + outside

    Having full backs who tuck inside gives us defensive security, leaves us less open to the counter, and providing they have the right technical quality, would make us deadly in transition.

    Playing with 2 No8s, would means we’d have more players attacking the box, add that to 2 penalty box strikers who press from the front in Eddie + Jesus, and we could see the goals spread around nicely.

    Getting enough players into the box is something we’ve struggled with.

    Pierre suggested Saka on the left, that’s certainly something that could work on occasion, as could Martinelli on the right.

    We’d also have the option of Cedric + Tierney, which would mean adjusting the midfield, but it’s a different way of attacking, which would make us left predictable, or play an asymmetrical version, where we get the width from the 1 full back, and then station our wide forward on that side more centrally

    This isn’t some revolutionary system, we’ve played different variations of it ourselves, City, Liverpool. Brighton have all played something similar

    Conte plays a 5+ 5 system, but like Klopp generally prefers plenty of width from his full backs, and tucks his wide forwards inside.

    I’m not bothered how we lineup as long as we win, and play good football, so I’m not suggesting we play this way, I’m just trying to make sense of the way we’re evolving our squad

    Which seems pretty clear what we’re attempting to do.

  94. Bob N16

    Nice one Graham, you haven’t lost your mojo, you got to post about Arteta ‘the incompetent’ again., lest we forget.

    Thought you’d lost your touch, back with a bang!

    Don’t disagree that it was a mistake, I was wanting Laca dropped for at least 4/5 games before he eventually wasn’t picked. Saying he’s incompetent is too far of course but there is a place for hyperbole when you are attempting to make a point I suppose.

  95. HerbsArmy

    Us Arsenal fans find ourselves in a really difficult place, the same place we’ve been for too long, we are not an exciting or inspiring project, we don’t have a manager with any reputable pedigree that any player is falling over to play for, and all we ever seem to do is sign ‘safe’ players that maintain our very ordinary status quo.
    If we refuse to shake ourselves out of this constant complacent mediocrity, we will spend years finishing between 5th – 8th and be made to be thankful for it.
    That’s where we are as a fanbase.

  96. Ishola70


    “we don’t have a manager with any reputable pedigree that any player is falling over to play for”

    Jesus walked over and on water to join Tets.

  97. Rich

    The problem is Tierney’s fitness isn’t reliable, I’ve also got big concerns around Partey’s muscle injuries.

    We can’t just rely on White + Gabriel to play 60 games

    We can’t continually see our season go up in flames when we have 2-3 injuries,

    We need a squad, we need quality in depth, we need 2 teams of 11, particularly if we want to compete on multiple fronts.

    We need more quality in depth from the bench, so we can change a game.

    Numbers aren’t a problem, we’ve currently got 31 players on our books, it’s quality in depth we lack.

    Tavares might develop into a very good player, he has a lot of the raw ingredients, but he’s currently nowhere near the required level positionally, tactically, or in terms of his decision making

    The currency in football is trophies, if we want to go the distance and be competitive, then we need a top quality squad of 22, backed up by 2-3 talented youngsters

    We can’t afford to carry injury prone players either,

  98. Ishola70

    One word to you Rich = Xhaka lol

    You like to keep overlooking it while I of course will always be here to remind you of it.

    We don’t become an expansive exciting team to watch so long as Xhaka is planted in the middle of the side.

  99. Pedro

    Herbs, only you think Arsenal isn’t an exciting project, don’t classify yourself with the overwhelming majority that are absolutely loving where we’re heading.