EDU SETS THE FANS STRAIGHT: EXPECT A BIG SEASON

by .

Arsenal get back to business this week.

We have one more game left of preseason.

12 more days until the start of the season.

2 more players to buy.

About 7 that need shifting on.

Edu has a wide-ranging interview in The Athletic authored by James. There’s some nice bits in there, it feels like Arsenal are trying to get ahead of the PR this season, versus waiting like they did last year.

Some points that I thought were interesting:

He confirmed what I told you last season, Champions League was a stretch goal, making it back to Europe was the objective. It was totally fine to feel pain because we blew top 4 from a good position, but the whole purpose of goals and objectives is that you don’t change them. If the club thought Europe was a good enough target for the youngest squad in the league in their first season, then pivoting to top 4 when it’s doing well would be unfair. The corporate equivalent would be reducing a salesman’s commission when they sell too much. You don’t punish overperformance, you applaud it.

This season though, Edu has made it clear, he expects the club to move to the next level because all the pieces are in place.

There was also a bit of a dig at Unai Emery, Edu basically said it’s really hard to recruit for a manager that doesn’t have a clear plan. Don Unai was indecisive on the pitch, he was indecisive with player management, so there’s no reason to think he wasn’t indecisive with the players he wanted to sign.

There was a story a few years ago that Unai Emery brought a magical presentation to his interview, that might have been the case, but it was Arteta the struck first with a detailed analysis of exactly what he wanted to do.

At the second attempt, Arsenal hired Arteta. I think Don Raul stepped away from that decision and put it on Arteta. He needed a fall and likely realised putting more of his stooges at the club might not be good for career longevity.

Mikel is ruthless about how he expects Arsenal to built to a title challenge, he knows how he’s going to play, the types of players he needs to make it work, and Edu is happy bringing that to life.

It’s clear that when he arrived, the club was a bag of shit… just look at where the line-up was.

Edu is quite specific about the problem he inherited. A group of older players on massive salaries that didn’t give a shit about greatness. It’s hard to sell players that don’t have value. Schalke took on Mustafi and Kola and they joined a coup within a month. That’s what you’re dealing with. Europe knows the eggs we’re trying to sell have mostly been bad. That’s why we can’t get cash for them.

Edu has shifted 16 first-teamers since the Bournemouth game. He hasn’t gotten a lot of money. But he basically said terminating deals for shitty players is better than letting them stink out the dressing room. Remember when the players tried to down Arteta? Bad eggs are toxic, they bring everyone down, when you kill them, their absence oxygenates an environment and allows new leaders to emerge. I think the biggest issue for Arteta was some of the biggest names were the most problematic. If you have massive talent, you’ll always carry an outsized weight in a dressing room, that’s just how sport tends to work… so when your World Cup winners have downed one manager, why not the next?

That’s part of the reasons Arsenal didn’t sack Arteta during that shocking run. If they had, you create a club culture where the players know the downing of tools will get them another roll of the dice with a potentially more favorable manager. Football is a game of emotions, managing them when pressure is coming from all angles is difficult, but when you have a plan and an agreed vision… you can shut the noise out.

Edu and club leadership needs to be commended for working through the kinks. The whole point of signing Arteta was that 1) he was already one of the best young coaches in the world 2) if he could hone his management skills under us, we’d be getting a next-generation manager at the start of their career 3) if we could rough out the learning process, we could have ourselves a gem before bigger clubs find out.

This is the season when we find out if that theory will hold.

What we know already is this:

  1. The coaching is really paying dividends. If you can get a team of 23 yr olds to 69 points without a striker, something is happening that is working.
  2. The reputation of what is going on is traveling around the Premier League. Gabriel and Zinchenko don’t give their best years to a project that isn’t going anywhere. They are here to win, they are a level of signing that is a hard indicator that the footballing world gets that the Arsenal approach is a good one
  3. Our best young players are signing new deals. We’ll likely finish the summer with Saka, Martinelli, and Saliba committing to the long term. That is huge for a club that had been on a very poor run with contracts.

My favourite part of the piece was when Edu was talking about Gabi J. He said he wanted him to join, but not the player of last season, he wanted the Gabriel that shines.

I love that. No blowing smoke, just pure honesty, because last season Gabi J was trailing Lacazette for goals up until March with roughly the same minutes.

It would seem that so far, we have an invigorated player, and we might just see a side of him this season no one has witnessed before.

The business we have to do is clear over the next two weeks.

We need to sign an experienced #8 that looks like Tielemans.

We need to sign a Nico Pepe replacement if we can shift the Ivorian. I’m a little worried the player has ‘I’m committed to Arsenal’ posts rolling up, obviously the realisation no one will pay him what he seeks, but I’m sure we’ll come to a deal and shift him on loan somewhere. He’s just not suited to what we’re doing and he needs to play at some point.

Pablo Mari has a lot of interest, Lucas Torreira might end up at Valencia, Arsenal are moving out Bernd Leno to Fulham… Ains, Reiss, and Runarsson will all find homes.

Then we’re cracking.

This season is going to be immense. Spurs, hate them or hate them, have signed decent players. Chelsea will add more names but might be weakening. United have a fancy hip coach. City and Liverpool added top tier talent. We are in for a helluva ride, but I feel ready, and the hope IS real this time.

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431 Responses to “EDU SETS THE FANS STRAIGHT: EXPECT A BIG SEASON”

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  1. Dark Hei

    “Can’t wait for the season to start.”

    Amen to that. We just spanked Chelsea 4-0 in pre-season.

    If that doesn’t get you excited it should at least make you happy.

  2. Zacharse

    diss
    “Strange because just yesterday you were saying the Kroenke’s didn’t just want to spend money under him because they didn’t trust him.”
    ya diss, making the point that getting support from the owners isnt an arbitrary thing. then i looked and saw what the actual spend was. definitely doesnt indicate any lack.

    bit different than waffling but i guess on LG w contrarians like yourself everything is always on the table including arteta
    -hating youth
    -being the cone guy in training
    -having our team playing as poorly and as boring as under emery.
    -forcing out saliba with his disrespect

    i’d rather be “waffler” than an old fool

  3. Wicked Willy

    IAT

    I think it’s referring to him as a coach, not a manager. It’s very hard to compare the work of young coach’s but I can see how arguments could be made for him and Ljinders

  4. Pierre

    Palace away
    Leicester home
    Bournemouth away
    Fulham home
    Villa home

    For me, palace away is the most important game of the season , a win there and it sets us up perfectly for the next 4 games (3 at home) against mid to lower ranked teams.

    I think it’s a given that our home form will continue to thrive, what we need is for Arteta to find a way of playing and winning away from home against high intensity teams who basically blew us away last season..
    Teams like
    Palace
    Newcastle
    Everton
    Brentford
    City
    Liverpool

    If i was to tell you that in those 6 away games we conceded 21 goals and scored just one goal , then one can see why there needs to be a dramatic improvement in our away form against such sides..

    That is why I say the palace game is vital , as a win there would signify a change in our ability to compete against such sides.

    Top of the league ahould be the expectation after the 5 opening games , then
    united away ,
    Everton home
    Brentford away

    Still top and the fans should be buzzing for the visit of
    Tottenham and Liverpool, and that is when our home form needs to kick in and i don’t see any reason why we can’t win these 2 fixtures.

    .

  5. Pierre

    In fact if you look at the away games that we failed to win in the league or cup comps , it paints a worrying picture and really needs to be addressed.

    Brentford
    City
    liverpool
    United
    Everon
    forest cup
    Liverpool cup
    Brighton
    Southampton
    Palace
    Tottenham
    Newcastle

    12 away games
    Goals conceded 26
    Goals scored 3

  6. chris

    Just saying but why does no one seem to think Arsenal need a backup to Thomas Partey/ some sort of dominant DM (like Yves Bissouma)?

    What is the Plan if TP gets injured/ loses form?

  7. Pierre

    Conceding 26 in those 12 games is bad enough , but only managing to score 3 goals shows that last season we were not able to win football matches after Conceding the first goal.

    Is it the way we were set up , are the players intimidated by the opposition players and crowd away from home, is it the style of football that needs to change in these type of games, are the players not mentally strong enough..

    Arteta needs to find out who are the players that hide away from home and he needs to be ruthless in making the decision to bench them for certain games .

  8. Jonnygunner

    chrisJuly 27, 2022 07:49:23
    Just saying but why does no one seem to think Arsenal need a backup to Thomas Partey/ some sort of dominant DM (like Yves Bissouma)?What is the Plan if TP gets injured/ loses form?

    Chris, we’re screwed is what will happen.
    He’s the one player we need a definitive replacement for. If he gets injured,the wheels will come off. I don’t see either of Melo or Tielemans easing that position.

  9. Pierre

    Chris
    “Just saying but why does no one seem to think Arsenal need a backup to Thomas Partey/ some sort of dominant DM (like Yves Bissouma)?”

    Bissouma is exactly the type of player we needed for those tough away games .
    Presss resistant, technically good, mentally strong and takes no prisoners ….he is not a player that hides, that’s for sure.

  10. Ishola70

    mmm so Freddie L informs us that Arsenal haven’t made a bid for Tielemans because of concerns over his “physicality”

    There were a few on here just a few that gave out doubts about Tielemans off the ball.

    I don’t think Arteta fancies Tielemans work rate off the ball.

  11. Dark Hei

    “Just saying but why does no one seem to think Arsenal need a backup to Thomas Partey/ some sort of dominant DM (like Yves Bissouma)?”

    “Would you like to come over and be backup to Thomas Partey?” Honestly I wouldn’t know what the sales pitch would be. It is just like Raphina; I perfectly understand why he would go to Barca as well.

    If your stock is high, you wouldn’t want to play backup.

    I don’t know Bissouma but given the way he is pontificated over at Le Grove, he likely isn’t settling for a backup role.

  12. raptora

    If we had went for Bissouma we would have bought someone that would have played in all of our group stage games in EL in Partey’s place and play next to him in maybe half the games in the EPL when the opposition required a more solid approach in midfield. Then, when Partey’s annual injury inevitably happened, we would have had an easy replacement with not that steep of a difference in quality.

    Excuse me but if the plan is to still start Xhaka next to Partey then in comparison Partey and Bissouma looks much better. What Bissouma would have given is the flexibility to both play next to Partey and be Partey’s alternative when the Ghanaian player is injured. We lose some stupid diagonal passes but we win pace, power, dynamics, defensive quality, ability to outplay the press, less braindead moments and a 4 years younger player.

    For 25m it was a no-brainer really.

  13. Emiratesstroller

    It seems that Schmeichel has left Leicester and they will be looking for a new goalkeeper to
    replace him.

    Would it not make sense for Arsenal to use Leno in a part exchange for Tielemans. A swap
    arrangement might suit both clubs at time when it is difficult to sell unwanted players in
    final year for realistic transfer fees.

  14. Ustyno

    Not sure if buying Bissouma to replace or play with Partey is a good idea,both are very likely to go for AFCON every other year

    I think it wise we look out for someone that can okay there and won’t leave when Partey is leaving too, anyways Bissouma is with Spurs so that ship has sailed

  15. The Bard

    Pedro mate you raise a good point what is football reality ? For me it’s position in the table, games won and lost. Trophies won that’s reality. All the rest is conjecture surely. I realise its part of your job to ramp up the positivity and I have posted before I’m happy with the signings but all the gung ho ‘we ll win the league in 2 seasons’ seems fanciful to me. Our history shows we’ve only dominated for short periods. Chapman GG and Wenger. You can either see my comments as negative or realistic.

  16. Mulerise14

    I think this bissouma conversation should be laid to bed…. given the player wanted to come,it would have been easy for us to sign him,that we didn’t, means the coach probably needs a DM that is more than a destroyer…..if you consider Partey’s role in the team it is so central to our play that not just anybody would do….I like bissouma and surely he can do a job of work in our team, but it is what it is…….Tets wants a team in his image, barring one or two more additions,he has gotten it…. for this season,we are in bed with Elneny who should just trust himself more,he is Partey’s poor cousin.So the search should firmly be on Partey’s successor/competitor next summer

  17. Wicked Willy

    Has anyone considered that if Partey is The Accused, then it would have been a really bad look on the club to have taken someone else who was also accused. Far too much reputational risk.

    Also, if Bissouma is good, it’s £35m not £25m

  18. raptora

    “Also, if Bissouma is good, it’s £35m not £25m”

    Incredibly flawed logic. You’ve basically declined the posibility of bargain transfers in the football game.

    By your logic Pepe and Maguire should be twice the players Salah and Rudiger are. Great point.

  19. Mr Serge

    Bisouma passing is shocking he is a breaker of play he cannot create attacks
    Like partey can, we don’t need a pure defensive player like conte does in his system hence we never went for him, end of discussion

  20. raptora

    “Bisouma passing is shocking”

    Your take is shocking.

    “he cannot create attacks like partey can”

    Anyone said he’s as good as Partey?

  21. Samesong

    Serge

    Sorry but you are wrong about Bissouma. Maybe not as good as Partey but he isn’t just a pure DM he can also drive forward. Good control of the ball. Can also create attacks going forward. Strong dribbler, Ball interception, Tackling is great.

  22. Ustyno

    Fedda

    The weather is an issue for the organizers, they’re sceptical that in some part of the continent summer is always raining heavily. The winter was suitable for all and that was why it has been used for decades

    The last AFCON was supposed to be in the summer but was shifted back to when it held for proper preparation.

    Like I said Bissouma is with Spurs now so it’s irrelevant

  23. Ustyno

    BTW AFCON 2023 was originally scheduled for summer between June and July 2023 in Ivory coast but is now scheduled to be played in January 2024 for the reason I started above

  24. GD4

    I laugh at these butt kissers who can’t accept that the club made a mistake.
    Hey they’ve done a lot of good but they ain’t perfect.
    Keeping Xhaka here is a major mistake and so was not signing Bissouma … pointing these things out does not mean they haven’t done a stellar job going into this season.
    Some of the excuses are just bird brained.

  25. AFC Forever

    Wicked Willy

    “Has anyone considered that if Partey is The Accused, then it would have been a really bad look on the club to have taken someone else who was also accused? Far too much reputational risk”

    Of course, they haven’t.

    When he signed for Spuds he was still under investigation for sex crimes, which had been going on for a long time. At the same time, the club knew, 6 months ago, according to reputable News outlets, that Thomas Partey was also being investigated for two sex crimes.

    So you can all forget what the scouts, kitman, Arteta or Edu wanted, there is no way Arsenal would have sanctioned that purchase or touched him with a barge pole. I’m surprised people aren’t aware of that, this conversation was done a while back.

  26. CletGold

    What’s with this obsession with Bissouma, is he the only DM in the world, he’s at spurs now, case closed. We’ve been there before feasting over Schneiderlin, look at how he turned out to be. Maybe we don’t need that Bissouma kind of DM

  27. Markymark

    I’m not sure how Bissouma would have naturally fitted?
    Wiggy wants the Spuds to counterattack via Kane and Son with Bissouma breaking up play. The most pragmatic use of their resources.
    All I can see is Arsenal moving ever more towards the far more possession based Man City lite model.
    Previously Arteta had some success with shit housing but we’ve moved on from that point.
    He’s a Spud now anyway . Can’t say I was in despair when Tottenham bought him.

  28. Akkimaniac

    How is Fabián Ruiz as compared to Tielemans? Has anyone seen him play consistently? If his work rate off the ball is good, could be an option to consider. Should be comparatively cheap as well.

  29. China1

    Arteta was one of the best young coaches in the world who wasn’t a coach lol

    Unless being an assistant coach and being a coach are the same thing

  30. China1

    If being an assistant coach and being coach are interchangeable terms then pat rice was one of the best coaches in the world for about a decade

  31. Dissenter

    China1
    Lol, Sometimes, you just have to look past Pedro’s Arteta adulations.
    It’s like ignoring Pierre’s obsessions with Ozil to get to the finer points he’s trying to make.

  32. China1

    The funny thing is he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s marketing he’s just choosing to do it for the manager rather than the company that’s paying him

    He could’ve very easily said one of the highest potential young coaches in the world which would’ve been a totally fair comment and backed up by various evidence as he’s been talked up by his peers etc for a long time. No one could really argue with it. It’s a fact. We took a punt on a super high potential young coach. Fair enough.

    But one of the best young coaches in the world? If I recall correctly he only managed one senior match in his life before he joined us. Don’t tell me Pedro accidentally conflated high potential with actual coaching performance. It’s his job to choose his words very carefully.

    It’s just completely unnecessary and invites this kind of needless ridicule when if he just said he was super high potential everyone would be fairly nodding along as it would be actually true.

  33. Northbanker

    Bard – yes I would – certainly they rank alongside GG

    Allison took the reigns and ensured AFC stayed the dominant team of the 30s – won 2 titles 1 FACup

    Whittaker built the 40s/50s teams- same trophy wins

    Mee – first manager to win the Double for us plus Fairs Cup

    All part of our great tradition and all stand proud

    Probably Chapman and then Wenger rank ahead

  34. raptora

    For me Matheus Nunes is the guy but maybe Eduteta will come up with something at least as good as him. (cough Xhaka….)

    40-50m is quite steep and so is the other great option in SMS. It’s a crucial position in a team, no wonder Real dropped 2x100m two summers in a row for Camavinga and Tchou while in the meantime we’ve been rocking with Xhakinho for 6 seasons (7th incoming).

  35. China1

    It’s like when he was talking about the players we’ve bought a couple of weeks back and he intentionally subtracted 5m from the supposed purchase price for literally every single player.

    A total ‘accident’ no doubt lol.

    The problem is he’s preaching to people who follow this stuff closely so it’s always really obvious what he’s doing.

    Is it so hard to just say he thinks the signings are good and good value without artificially changing the supposed transfer fees to make them look cheaper? So unnecessary and equally obvious lol

  36. Freddie Ljungberg

    China

    No VAT included now then? We evading the tax man?

    We just played a behind closed door friendly against Brentford, lost 2-1, Eddie scored our goal.
    Mostly a reserve side from the looks of it. Good to get them some more minutes.

  37. GD4

    If people don’t understand how Bissouma would’ve fitted into our system then they shouldn’t even be talking football. What won’t I read on this site … smh

  38. Tom

    Has anyone considered that if Partey is The Accused, then it would have been a really bad look on the club to have taken someone else who was also accused.
    Far too much reputational risk
    .Also, if Bissouma is good, it’s £35m not £25m

    WW, yes it’s been considered.
    The minute Partey gate dropped the Bissouma debate was over for me ……said so at the time.

    But he is £35m good and you can expect Brighton drop right back to the bottom half of the PL table without him in their line up.
    The exact opposite to what happened after White left them.

  39. Dissenter

    Tom
    Brighton already replaced Bissouma, one season before he was due to leave
    They signed Enock Mwepu from Red Bull Salzburg for about 20 million last summer. I think he’s a more rounded player than Bissouma
    If he manages to stay fit, they won’t drop a step this season. .

  40. Tom

    Not a dig Bob.
    A factual observation (White), and a fact based prediction( Bissouma).
    You can call me out when it doesn’t turn out that way for them in May.

    I like White, but said it at the time he wasn’t their best player, as much as it pained me to contradict Pedro’s uncle.
    Bissouma was.
    They never missed White did they.

  41. Tom

    Dissenter, in all fairness where Brighton finish in May might hinge in large measure on what happens with Cucurella who was terrific for them last season.

  42. raptora

    Wicked Willy,
    Maybe the sweet spot when we’re talking about add-ons is counting about 50% of it. I feel confident with throwing the number of £30m now, instead of £25m unless it’s expected from Spuds to be in top 4 in each season of Bissouma’s contract, to win the EPL and the UCL with him. Ye, not happening.

    As Tom said, Bissouma was one of the most important players for Brighton. He clearly has the talent to play in a bigger club. Hope he fails at Spuds of course.

  43. Bob N16

    Tom, your comment was clearly suggesting that White was not that important a player for Brighton and by inference that they were a better team without him. A backhanded dig I’d have said.

  44. raptora

    I like Mbeumo from Brentford for that wide player if we manage to sell Pepe.
    Born in 1999 with a visible talent and I expect him to become better in the next couple of years.
    Not top class potential but still a very good player to have as an option.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Listening to Edu’s interview it is clear to me that Arsenal do a lot of homework before they
    approach and then buy players.

    They interview player, his family and the agent to assess whether the player wants to join the club and more importantly has the right character and desire to join Arsenal.

    Edu insists that not all players are obsessed about playing in Champions League or earning
    bucketful of money. When he sells Arsenal to the player he is selling the project.This was
    the philosophy originally devised by Liverpool in the 1970s and followed by Arsenal in 1980s.
    I suspect that it is the philosophy of both Man City and Liverpool today.

    My gut feeling is that Arsenal have decided to pause their spending and focus on offloading
    unwanted players, but they will probably buy one more player before the end of transfer
    window.

    I raised the possibility earlier today that Leicester could come in for Leno. That might open
    up a swap for Tielemans. He would be a good option for Arsenal. If Tielemans is worth £30-35 Million and Leno is calculated at £10 million in part exchange that would be a good buy.

  46. Pierre

    GD4
    “If people don’t understand how Bissouma would’ve fitted into our system then they shouldn’t even be talking football. What won’t I read on this site … smh”

    Obviously Arteta doesn’t or he would have bought him, and no the sex claims are no defence for not buying him, i was posting videos of Bissouma on here over 2 years ago , his quality is there for all to see , maybe its all down to the fact that Arteta wants xhaka in the side.

  47. raptora

    Roma having a solid summer. So far:

    Matic, Celik, Dybala and Wijnaldum (all but confirmed)

    I would have loved Gini here truth be told. Fantastic player that can do it all similar to Gunda.

  48. Tom

    Bob, call it what you want.
    A perfectly legit comment to make considering the amount of ink spilled writing White testimonials justifying his transfer and the fee paid.

    He’s our player now and I like what he brings to the table, but the fact is he was never that important to them, and as of yet hasn’t proved the difference maker for us……… despite all predictions of his line breaking abilities and creating goal scoring opportunities.

  49. TR7

    Leno to Fulham done for a meagre £8M. Goalkeepers of his calibre cost north of £20M but unfortunately most big clubs have their GK position sorted and thus there was not a bidding war for him. Besides he wants to live in London which further reduced our options.

    Martinez and Leno in my view are better than Ramsdale and Turner but then we got to live with what we have.

  50. Dissenter

    raptora
    “Barca cucking Chavs for the 3rd time this summer.
    Christensen, Raphinha, Kounde confirmed.
    Now working on part 4 – Azpilicueta!”

    Th3e funniest past of it is Chelsea blacklisting Barca as an exit for Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso as revenge

    It’s like shutting down your kidneys to get back at your heart. Holding back two veteran players from leaving just adds more toxicity to that dressing room.
    Everyone knows Chelsea is a toxic place to be right now, even average Kimpembe has rejected them.

  51. TR7

    Atlanta want Tavares on loan but with a buy option. Arsenal rightly offering a dry loan. Looks like the deal will break down if it already hasn’t.

  52. Dissenter

    I saw that Pablo Dybala unveiling at Roma, at the square colosseum
    Absolutely amazing, that ceremony itself would have cost so much money to organize.

  53. Tom

    TR7, I hope Turner was only experiencing some early jitters because on the small evidence he’s not the level required.

  54. MidwestGun

    Freddie-

    Not surprised we would lose a practice match.. with a midfield of Loko, Elneny and AMN… Same midfield that was pretty awful against Orlando the first half. It’s just not dynamic enough. That’s 3 times now Arteta has tried it in preseason and same results. Very little goal output. Which is why it’s a little frustrating we haven’t landed another midfielder. More then happy with who we have got so far.. though, and the starters for the most part. I’m even ok with ESR, Marquinhos and Nelson as winger backup.. it’s just that cm thing bugging me.

  55. raptora

    Oh, White was quite bad at what he was advertised for.

    Pedro pushed the line that he’s David Luiz mk 2 in his passing and I’m sorry but I what I saw from him was not nearly enough to be held in the same conversation as the Brazilian.

    Alright season from him, overall he wasn’t bad at all. But his supposed quality to unlock defenses haha good lord.

  56. Tom

    Dissenter, small, meaning the few times I saw him start.
    Seems very shaky with ball at his feet.
    I’m not making sweeping declaration’s here.

  57. Bob N16

    Tom,

    Quoting unfounded hyperbole about White encourages you to him knock down a peg- I get it.
    I’m very happy to see White in our starting line up, whether he’s at CB or RB.

    Saliba’s our nascent VVD!

  58. Freddie Ljungberg

    Mid

    Yeah, that’s a pretty terrible midfield. Was a fair few of the kids playing too so not taking too much out of it, just good that they got a chance to play too.

    CM is my only major worry atm, either we buy an attacking left sided 8 to replace Xhaka, since he does almost nothing offensively, or if we’re going with a double pivot we need a beast next to Partey. Both would be great so we can mix it up but I’m not greedy…

    Anything else is a bonus.

  59. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Saliba’s our nascent VVD!”

    I honestly hope we let Tomi take his time getting back to fitness, so Saliba can get some starts and prove himself at CB. Think he’s going to be immense for us.

  60. Tom

    “I’m very happy to see White in our starting line up, whether he’s at CB or RB.”

    Well, Bob, then we finally agree on something. Yay!

  61. Nigel Tufnel

    Mr Serge

    “Bisouma passing is shocking he is a breaker of play he cannot create attacks
    Like partey can, we don’t need a pure defensive player like conte does in his system hence we never went for him, end of discussion”

    God bless you for trying to explain this to the Bissouma lovers here.

    The guy is the new M’Vila, Aurier, Chris Samba, Etienne Capoue for legrovers.

    Big and strong players excite these fetishists here for some reason.

    the simple observation of football skills go right out the window. Something like finding a smart pass is forgotten about.

    Are grovers out of step again?…. the player was not sought by ANY big club in the whole wide world. He fell to the Levys bargain hunters barrel.

    Not even rated enough to replace McTominay at United.
    I don’t like Kalvin Phillips.. but he looks like Zidane in comparison.

    I see that some of you haven’t noticed yet.. but, We are looking for Man City skill level players. Not dumb destroyers who can’t pass and advance play.

  62. Freddie Ljungberg

    Tom

    As is no CL with him in the team. So depressing.

    Sure he’s cut down on the mistakes, which is great, about fucking time, and he was a lot better last season. But if he’s playing more advanced and getting 2 assists and 1 goal playing every second of every game it’s just not good enough. Not like he’s great defensively either.

    I just can’t understand the massive blindspot some have when it comes to him.

  63. MidwestGun

    Tom.. Yes I’ve accepted that .. but what happens if Partey is injured or cant play is my concern.. Ok Elneny can just about do a job as dm but then Xhaka is not a dynamic enough pairing then. . With Partey he can have a little more license. Then also what if we want to do a change of pace and have 3 attacking midfielders ahead of Partey.. Vieira, Odegaard and ESR I guess is our option there in that case but would be nice to have a little more rounded mdifielder and better goal scorer then Granit.

    Also, it doesnt feel like Lokonga is ready yet.. I think the plan if I remember right as put forth by Pedro was for Loko to take over for Xhaka mid season last season and that hasn’t come to fruition at all.

  64. Tom

    Freddie, not promising to dump Xhaka cost me your Tom for Arsenal manager vote……I’m .still holding a grudge fyi, but Xhaka wasn’t our biggest problem no matter where he played.
    Dock him weeks wages for every shirt pull……problem solved.

  65. Rich

    White is a good defender, at a good age.

    We overpaid based on the defender we thought he could become , rather than paying £50 million for the defender he was, we gambled on his potential.

    Realistically we weren’t building a team that was going to bang last season, we were too far behind, we were building a team to bang over the following seasons, last season was about installing a foundation

    We were looking for players who could grow with the team over the medium term, and who would then enter their prime simultaneously.

    That way we create a medium term cycle of 3-4 seasons, where we can just evolve our squad.

    We’ve signed White for 5 seasons, not 1, he did fine last season, not £50 million fine, but expecting to see significant improvements this season, is a reasonable expectation.

    I like him, he’s the perfect hybrid player for our system, who can fit seamlessly in at right centre back, and inverted right back, which gives us a really nice dynamic with Saliba coming back in.

    White predominantly played as an inverted right back for Brighton in 2020/21, so we were obviously aware of his versatility.

    I’d like us to sign a left sided hybrid defender of similar ilk, who can compete/rotate with Gabriel, and also step in as an inverted left back, I’d love a player like Josko Gvardiol

    That would solve a few issues, it would give us continuity in the way we attack + defend, regardless of which defenders we select, which is needed across an entire season.

    It would also provide insurance, because the chances of Tierney + Tomiyasu breaking down at some point, have to be considered likely.

    Partey’s ability to play 3 games a week also has to be in question, Elneny is fine against some opposition, but Zinchenko would be a better option there, Zinchenko’s versatility is going to be useful, who can also play as our left sided No8.

    If we want to get through 60 + games producing consistency, we have to build our squad with those risks factored in.

    We’re at the stage where our first team will be a match for anyone, we just need to add a bit more specificity + quality in depth, so our season doesn’t collapse after putting ourselves into competitive positions.

  66. Nigel Tufnel

    Ishola,
    that rumour about Arsenal thinking Tielemans is not physical enough comes from a dodgy tweet.

    Freddie repeats it on legrove, then people here start giving it more weight. It was a tweet.

    Tielemans has his limitations, but he’s also a brilliant skilled player that is important for Leicester and Belgium.

    I still want him.

  67. Tom

    Nigel, other than Villa, Newcastle, Man City, and United no one showed any interest in Bissouma.
    Brighton were asking £50m when United came knocking.
    And there was also the small manner of a criminal rape case against him to boot.

  68. GD4

    “ Arsenal: Turner, Cedric, Walters (Awe 46), Holding, Tavares (Souza 76), Elneny, Lokonga, Maitland-Niles (Patino 85), Marquinhos, Nelson (Sagoe Jr 90), Nketiah.

    Brentford: Strakosha (Cox 62), Stevens, Bech, Crama, Henry (Racic 62), Onyeka, Ghoddos (Yarmolyuk 75), Peart-Harris, Trevitt, Lewis-Potter, Mbeumo (Gilbert 75).”

    Like I’ve said repeatedly … that second level of our squad is proper gash. Those dudes will sink the ship. So I’m not surprised at the loss.

  69. Freddie Ljungberg

    Nigel

    I did say it was a rumour. I don’t believe everything I read, just put it out there.

    If it’s as an attacking CM I don’t see a problem with his physicality, he wouldn’t be my first choice but he’s PL tested so wouldn’t mind it either.

    Not so sure he could help fill the Partey void when he’s injured though. Hopefully we have a plan for that, the stats with and without him speaks for themselves.

  70. TR7

    Breaking | Tottenham had a €40m+ offer for Lucas Paquetá rejected in January – Spurs & Manchester City are the most credible options this summer for the player, who isn’t particularly interested in Newcastle or Arsenal, according to L’Équipe.

  71. Nigel Tufnel

    CletGold:
    “What’s with this obsession with Bissouma, is he the only DM in the world, he’s at spurs now, case closed. We’ve been there before feasting over Schneiderlin, look at how he turned out to be. Maybe we don’t need that
    Bissouma kind of DM”

    Not a single one of the Bissouma lovers will admit they were creaming for Schneiderlin.

    Or the other trash players that I listed… those names were cried for here for months upon months by grovers. Mvila, Samba… anyone? Crickets.

    All these posters brag about coming to legrove for many years…
    But not a single one with the balls to admit they were on most of those players bandwagons begging to buy them.

    Hypocrites, and they’ll do it all over again and pretend they weren’t dying for Bissouma when he’s left in the dust.

    The resident genius thinks that Bissouma would fit into this beautiful lineup and system Arteta and Edu are assembling. If you offered Bissouma to Man City for free, Guardiola laugh you out of the building.

    There’s no talent ID here. You all need Pedro to explain everything to you.

    Without him you’d be clueless.

  72. Tom

    Tom.. Yes I’ve accepted that .. but what happens if Partey is injured or cant play is my concern.. Ok Elneny can just about do a job as dm but then Xhaka is not a dynamic enough pairing then.

    Middy, Zinchenko can play anywhere across the mid can’t he?
    No, Xhaka is definitely not dynamic.

  73. MidwestGun

    Nigel – probably because I don’t remember anyone that is still here. that was begging for Schneiderlin. Most of the older posters that I would give the time of day to will admit when they have gotten things wrong. So not sure what your crusade is about to be honest.

  74. MidwestGun

    Tom- yes Zinchenko can as well.. but also not much of a goal scoring threat. That plus assuming Tierney is healthy as well so that he can play midfield.

  75. Freddie Ljungberg

    Tom

    Yeah Zinchenko can play across midfield, not sure he can anchor the midfield by himself though, and he’s going to be needed at LB more often than not thanks to Tierney not being able to stay fit.
    We’ll see what the plan is, would be silly to smash the window so far and not have a backup for something that saw our points per game go down 70% last season.

  76. MidwestGun

    Also, M’villa was considered a joke always.. same as Kalou. Used as a banter joke during transfer windows don’t rememebr anyone being serious about them. Also Redtruth aka Dialsquare.. or MarbleHalls and one other poster who the name escapes me.. liked Samba were the only one bringing up Samba. Defintely never been a Le grove consensus or majority on any of them where you could call it obsessive.

  77. Bob N16

    Unfortunately there is only one Zinchenko.

    KT needs to get fit, get to November put his feet up for six weeks and be ready to go again so Zinchenko can play CM whenever we’re short there!

  78. Bob N16

    Midwest,

    I think that there was always been a desire to have a physically imposing CM addition; an area that we’ve been lacking since Song was pushed further forward. There has long been the narrative that we could be bullied hence M’Vila, Samba, etc etc

  79. Tom

    Freddie, the problem with getting quality back up for Partey is two-fold.
    Unlike City, who can guarantee titles , Arsenal can’t.
    And, unlike United, we can’t throw crazy wages at them to sweeten the deal.
    So the pool of quality players willing to accept that role narrows considerably.

    Players like Bissouma, who thinks of himself as the best holding midfer, wouldn’t consider a back up role at Arsenal.

    But I understand you concerns.

  80. Freddie Ljungberg

    Tom

    There’s going to be plenty of games where we’re going to have to play with a double pivot to not get run over in midfield, also late in games to protect leads. The single pivot 2 attacking 8s formation won’t work all the time in the PL.
    There’s also plenty of cup games and it’s almost a certainty that Partey will break down at some point so there will be plenty of minutes for anyone coming in.

    I mean Xhaka plays every minute…

  81. MidwestGun

    Bob- yes dm was kind of Wenger’s blind spot but I dont rememeber an unhealthy obsession over one player or another.
    We once started a major effort to promote Mario Balotelli mostly out of desperation for a damn striker. other then Giroud.. but most people, including myself.. have admitted that would have been a huge mistake.after the fact. Dude was too much of a mess.

    Bamford had an obsession with Benteke.. and there is always people promoting one player or another. But one or two loud voices do not make a Le Grove consensus where you can assign it to an incorrect group think.

    Throw out any players name. for a possible transfer . . and you will get a near 50/ 50 opinion on it here. Guarantee it. Some people are just louder about it then others. For example Melo.. Some people rate him … some don’t. Aouar some people rate him some don’t . Always been that way.

  82. Pedro

    Tom, agree with most of those points, but Bissouma isn’t a Partey back-up.

    Partey is single pivot #6. Bissouma is much more limited, hence why we passed on him.

  83. Rich

    The way we build a squad is by looking at our potential workload:

    A club like Arsenal should be aiming for roughly 60 games, give or take a few.

    We then do market research, how many days injuries + suspensions, have we missed on average over the last 10 seasons?

    How many players have other PL clubs missed on average over the last 10 seasons? Specifically clubs who contend with the type of schedule we’ll need to remain consistent over.

    How many players, what type of quality, and what type of depth do teams who sustain consistency across 60+ games have?

    How many international do we have? Do we need to account for competitions like the African Cup in the middle of the season?

    Are there concerning patterns regarding the fitness of certain players where the level of risk regarding extended absences, are high?

    Are there players who we don’t believe can cope with the demands of playing 3 x a week? And if so? How do we adapt around that?..

    What style of play do we want to implement? And even if we have absences + drop in quality, we still have the profile of players, that allows continuity in the way we play, regardless of which team we choose.

    We don’t necessarily need a direct player to compete with Partey, we need hybrid players, who have the ability to potentially play 20 of our 60 games as a single pivot in midfield

    But also cover 15-20 game in another position at a high level.

    Realistically we don’t want to be beasting our players for more than 40 games a season, 45 maximum, particularly in they’re regular internationals.

  84. Bob N16

    Midwest, I’ll admit I wanted us to buy Bissouma but I’ve no idea if he was willing to play back up. I still have hopes for Lakonga. I think extending Elneny was an acknowledgement that we had lots of business to do so keeping a cheery back up for Partey made sense.

    My only concern is Xhaka in CM when Partey’s not available. Xhaka with Partey is fine but like last season, Xhaka is not the most complimentary of CMs that have ever played the game.

  85. Nigel Tufnel

    Generic quote I read..

    Bissouma is clearly good enough to play for a big club…..

    Tell me…
    If it’s so clear….

    Man City had need in that position.

    Man United has need in that position.

    Why did no big club even show interest in Bissouma, including Arsenal?

    Because people in the industry know a lot more than we do…, spuds were looking for a bargain. They got a bargain because there was no competition for the player. None.

    Bissouma was begging for interest from Arsenal on his social media at the beginning of the window.

    Oh, you all forgot about that?

    Grovers all had the secret answer that no big club found… only Levy.

  86. MidwestGun

    , Xhaka is not the most complimentary of CMs that have ever played the game.
    ___
    True .. but I do think Zinchenko behind Xhaka makes him a better player as well so I have toned down my Anti-Xhaka rhetoric because also it does no good. A lot of the season hinges on Partey though so that’s really my only concern. If we had a dynamic midfilder we could play next to Mo at times .. i think my concerns would be less as well. I also don’t think we need a like for like for Partey.. Hence why I was excited about the possibility of Paqueta but that’s looking unlikely as his Club has more or less taken him off the market. So….

    Honestly, I ‘m just ready to get the season started … hahaha start racking up some points.

  87. BacaryisGod

    Pedro

    Am I the only one having issues with the mobile version of this site? The ad at the bottom keeps opening up and it’s impossible to scroll down the comments section without being forced back down to the comments section.

  88. Bill

    I really like Bissouma. He has his weaknesses, but they are relative weaknesses and they do not include poor passing.

    To compare him to M’Vila, Aurier, Chris Samba, Etienne Capoue is nonsense. Samba was a defender, a lumbering, powerful defender. Aurier is a very limited , error-prone right back who is short.

    Bissouma is only 6′, so not tall but he is powerful.

    Bissouma’s passing stats are around 90%. He is good at carrying the ball and retaining possession when dribbling. He’s excellent at tackling and is a very energetic box-to-box player.

    His weakness is scoring and assists.

    He would be an excellent pivot at the base of midfield.

    Has that ship sailed? Definitely

    Are there better players for Arteta-ball? Maybe, we’ll soon find out.

    Is he a bad player? Hell no.!!

  89. Bill

    Nigel, I think you’re right about clubs harbouring concerns about Bissouma. That definitely pushed the price down. I suspect that it was due to the criminal charges.

    Maybe there’s more, well never know.

    The one downside for me was his insistence in saying how good he was, but that may have been journalists exaggerating his responses.

  90. Wicked Willy

    Bill

    Nice comment. It’s clear he’s a good player. But it’s also clear we have graduated beyond the double pivot, and we need more goal threat from our number 8. Let’s hope we solve that this summer.

  91. bradybunch

    Moved on from the double pivot. Only if Zinc is strong enough and press resistant enough , as Mo and Granit definitely aren’t.

  92. BacaryisGod

    Ok-it might seem insane but do you think Arteta would even consider bringing back his former teammate Ramsey on a play-for-pay type deal?

    I’m not advocating it but just wondering if it’s even a possibility.

  93. Tom

    Bill, spot on re Bissouma.

    Also, City showed interest until they realized they couldn’t go near him because of Mendy’s seven counts rape indictment.

    United showed interest but the £50m asking price and their own managerial uncertainty ( RR and ten Hag weren’t even talking at the time lol)would’ve made it next level absurd to pull the trigger.

    All irrelevant. He’s a Spud now and definitely shit.

  94. englandsbest

    I was reading a list of famous Arsenal supporters – nothing much happening right now football-wise – so just to let you know, we have something in common with Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden and Jeremy Corbyn.

  95. Nigel Tufnel

    What did we pay for Leno .. 19mil?

    Anybody thought we were getting 12+ mil with a year left on his deal, and him having been dropped to backup status, and him pushing for London club…. is not living in reality

    You can scream all you want that he’s worth more.. but wake up.. this is the real world.

  96. Nigel Tufnel

    ” I was posting videos of Bissouma on here 2 years ago”.

    I guess Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Edu, Arteta, and every club in world football missed those videos.

    Grovers know better than every scout and football executive in the world now.

    The good news, Levy saw them…. but he only looks at bargains anyway.

  97. Nigel Tufnel

    Tom,

    I have worries about Turner because of the psychological aspect of jumping from a nothing league to the fastest pace, toughest in the world.

    Also I have seen videos showing him punching the ball too much for my liking.

    I hope he works on claiming high balls bravely…

    I’m sure he’ll be working on his distribution because he knows he’s an understudy to one of the best distributors in the world.

    I would’ve felt safer with England experienced backup. Hope he proves to be decent for us.

  98. Just Another Customer

    all three are anti-semites that’s another thing they have in common

    maybe that’s the reason they support Arsenal even

    don’t like them yid army

  99. Rich

    We’ve got too many players, as we stand, we need to lose 3 non homegrown players, because we don’t have the space to register them in our 25 man PL squad:.

    We’ve also got 8 players we can’t register in Europe:

    Ramsdale, Leno, Turner, Okonkwo, Runarsson
    Tomiyasu, Cedric, Bellerin
    Tierney, Zinchenko, Tavares
    White, Saliba, Holding
    Gabriel, Mari
    Partey, Elneny, Torreira
    Xhaka, Sambi, Niles
    Odegaard, Vieira
    Saka, Pepe, Marquinhos
    Martinelli, Smith Rowe, Nelson
    Jesus, Nketiah, Balogun

    33 players
    13 Homegrown
    20 Non Homegrown
    6 under 21 (After Jan 1st 2022)
    27 over 21

    If we sell Leno, loan out Tavares + Mari

    We’d still need to exit another non homegrown player, before bringing in another, the only way we could get around this, would be if they were under 21 before Jan 1st, but that wouldn’t help us in terms of Europe, where we’d have to still leave players off the list

    Every time we sign a player, without selling one first, we just further decrease our selling position.

    We need to purge this squad ASAP, and potential suitors know this, our hand is wide open, and the whole world can see it, any type of offers for fringe players, without multiple suitors to push up the price, and we’re better off just folding,

  100. Nigel Tufnel

    Tom,

    Those interested teams you listed for Bissouma..

    No proof there was concrete interest from any, including real offers.

    The evidence on my side is that most of the facts in his criminal issue showed he was not in a really bad situation.

    Also, if that was getting cleared up so early in the window..

    Why would Brighton jump at a low-ball offer from Spurs, with 2 months left in the window and the criminal overhang going away?

    Your assertions don’t really make sense.. think about it.

    United, Villa, Man City??? REALLY ?….50 mil price tag…player begging for Arsenal to come in… sounds like people trying to drive up interest and his price.

    Yet Brighton jump at Levys offer at the start of the window. So it didn’t work, like Pierre’s videos Lol.

    This makes sense to you?

  101. Mr Serge

    GD4July 27, 2022 15:45:25
    If people don’t understand how Bissouma would’ve fitted into our system then they shouldn’t even be talking football. What won’t I read on this site … smh

    1000 plus games I have been to tells me I can tell if a player is what we actually need and he is not what we need like I keep saying a number 8 is far more important we have Partey and elneny we don’t need to throw 35m at a player whoa attacking stats are that of a cb

  102. Mr Serge

    Rich I concur we need to sell Leno Mari LT and loan out another non HG player to even sign tielmans right now

    Saliba has become HG now so that’s a bonus