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I’m watching the England game while writing this post. I’ve just seen James Maddison get scissored over with a horrible challenge. I find international football so painful to watch. It’s such a massive risk so early on in the season – Gabriel M went off on 85 last night after an impact injury. Not great.

Gareth Southgate has fully embraced his comfort-blanket stage. He has Jordan Pickford in goal, a man who concedes like a sieve and has never played at a high level. He has Harry McGuire starting, a 31-year-old that was de-captained and hasn’t had a good game in 6 years. Jordan Henderson is still getting game time despite moving to another continent on a retirement contract.

This is a manager out of ideas – and a guy who doesn’t truly believe in high performance. Hopefully the rumors of him exiting after the Euros are true. Need to get us a bit of Pep Guardiola in the mix bringing some of that JdP electricity to international football.

In Arsenal news, Nico Pepe was finally sold, for £2.6m. I’m not sure he’s the worst Arsenal signing of all time, but he’s certainly in the top 3 for disappointment. I just can’t get over how a player can lose 186% of his value. £2.6m fits into £72m about 28 times. This is a disgustingly poor transfer.

Did I speak like that when we did the deal? No way. I thought we’d landed. He was the hottest player in France. The fee was massive, but we needed to do something big.

Little did I know – Lille was up to all sorts of dodgy dealings. A club built to create fees for agents. An exBarca contact there that our guy knew. Rumors that Everton were quoted a much lower price. The whole episode ended up smelling like rotten fish – made all the more painful to stomach because the player didn’t deliver. Napoli signed Oshimen for a massive fee and there are all sorts of problems with that one – but at least they landed a decent player.

Niko felt like the start of a new era, when in fact, it was the start of a horrible run under a disgraceful Football Director who ran the club into the ground, putting agents over club time and time again.

The player wasn’t terrible. He had a lot of output. But he lacked focus and discipline. He was built for counter-attacking football and we didn’t really play that game. Then his confidence went, his output dried up, he tanked at Nice last season, and in the end no one would pony up for a player who couldn’t deliver if the wages were £140k a week.

Trabzonspor have taken him on, I’d not be shocked to hear we were picking up some of his wages, there’s a nominal fee that has been put down… we are finally rid of a weight around our neck.

Still, it’s hard to be mad about anything right now. We kicked out the Football Director. We got Edu on a better track. We hired a world class coach. Now the whole club feels like it’s working towards the right things under a process that bangs.

So the clear-out is basically complete. The only two players left that don’t really hit the level are Mo Elneny and Cedric Soares. Mo will stay around because he’s good for the dressing room and doesn’t pick up much of a salary. We’re also well-equipped in midfield. Cedric might have been exited on a free if we didn’t have so many injuries. But overall, you can give the club a B+ for exiting players, but maybe a D for the fees we landed. Rob Holding for £2m really is poor – he’s worth much more than that.

A lot of this feels like a problem of our own making. Primark will never be able to sell a £1000 trenchcoat – because people associate them with budget clothing. Burberry lost control of their famous print pattern in the 90s and had to build a whole strategy around making it scarce again because the brand was not supposed to be worn by the masses. They went after people peddling fake goods and pulled all their licenses that landed their goods in cheap shops. Sears was a struggling retail brand famous for coupons, a big fancy exec from a tech company came in, tried to upscale the product, and killed the coupon book… big mistake, that wasn’t not what the market wanted, and things went south very fast. Why? Because once people get used to your market positioning, it’s hard to retrain them. We are a discount brand. Arsenal spent a lot of time post-Wenger/Emery giving players away… the market now knows if you wait long enough, you can get a coupon player at the end of the window. We are not in the premium game yet. Liverpool, City, and Chelsea certainly are.

One day…

Ok, short one today, listen to the latest podcast. It’s the premium goods. Pay up, right now, be part of the elite. No coupons here baby. x

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It will be pretty awkward for Rich and Don railing against immigration while being spoon fed and having their ass wiped by an immigrant in their retirement community.


Walters, Nwaneri are all automatically in the squad as they qualify through the B list (under 21 and 2 years at the club). You may as well name Cedric and Elneny if they are around to make up the 25 from the A list.

Luteo Guenreira

Japan v Turkey friendly is a good game, very entertaining. Japan up 3-2 right now, 75th minute.

AFC Forever

ANDY 1886

“The guy got lucky with the talent available and hasn’t made the most of them.”


As you rightly say, the nonsense he came out with about Pep not playing Foden centrally was quite something. Yet he’s picking players who can’t even get into the club sides. I’ve given up on him. I’m usually tolerant of managers but we’ve waited years for talent like we’ve got now and he’s still playing 1990’s football.

X haka


X haka

Surely Pepe would have been better to have kept in the CL squad than Soares?

Useful sub late on and allowed rest for Saka.

Bob N16

Dissenter, jwl – What duvee said!


“Dissenter, jwl – What duvee said!”

.. I said 15 minutes before at 14:44:15, it wasn’t lost on me when I wrote the post.

Bob N16

Foden could have played left attack if CM was ‘an issue’. Personally, having seen Rashford play against us, I’d have started Rashford on the left, played Rice as a single pivot and told Foden and Bellingham to weave their magic.

England just need to settle on a centre back partnership, Stones +1, be it Guehi, Tomori or Colwill.

Bob N16

Dissenter, But you still went on about the worth of picking them in CL A group four minutes later!

14.48 ‘but naming them just breathes life on the academy’


Manchester United are considering a move for former Ajax, Aston Villa and Everton winger Anwar El Ghazi. The 28-year-old Dutchman is a free agent after leaving PSV Eindhoven. (Mail)

champions league looks


Naming them in the 25 man list is that breathe confidence, not a default list
It’s the manager saying I have faith in you, not some back alley list
Why’s that so hard for you, you’re back to wearing your arguendo toga here again,

Haven’t you seen enough of the nothingness of Cedric?


Havertz is 4 games in to his Arsenal career…..haters are not real fans and should stay away from the Emirates Havertz has a rather unique skill set as well as a languid devil-may-care body language. If he is not in synch with the others in the left side of our formation it is also partly the fault of Martinelli and Arteta who has been rotating different left backs. As well Rice is on the left side and he is another new player in need of integration. Yeah we’d be better with Xhaka in there now but given a chance Havertz… Read more »


United are in a bad bad place.

The manager messed up the Sancho situation and has cast him out to sea just at a time when he should be playing to prove a point.


ten hag looked properly cracked after we stomped them.
would not be surprised if he was gone before xmas


Picture this: Arsenal have done amazingly well in the CL and have made the CL Finals. We were also challenging for the League title. In the last two weeks we incurred injuries to our back line. Tomi and Ben White both hurt and unavailable for the CL Final. Partey is also done….who plays at RB? Would you rather we have Ruell Walters at RB in the final against Bayern, Madrid or Barca (whoever is the opponent)? Or would you rather have Cedric who has at least played in a Euro championship game as well as in the World Cup. Arteta… Read more »



Walters does not need to be registered with UEFA because he is still U21 and has been three years with the club. So he can play in Champions league.

Sousa is also U21 but has been less than three years with club and has therefore been registered.

What is surprising is that Hillson has been registered as third goalkeeper.

Bob N16

‘Haven’t you seen enough of the nothingness of Cedric?’ He’s my dream right back, how rude!
Soares is still with us so he gets put in. He is not taking the place of anybody.

I think that any youngsters travelling for a CL match would give them a bigger boost than what list they’re in. It’s worth pointing out that CL U19 group matches mirror the first teams fixtures, so it might be more worthwhile Nwaneri, Lewis Skelley playing a full part in those games rather than sitting hopefully on the bench.


I’m giving Arteta the benefit of the doubt on Havertz and Tierney. I think we should have kept Tierney, and tonight we’ll see just how good he is. And I think the money for Havertz would’ve been better spent on an outright goal-scoring striker. But we are outsiders, we don’t know all the factors involved. And given Arteta’s amazing record so far, the way he’s dragged Arsenal up from nowhere to the elite, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. And even if he’s wrong and admits his error, I’ll stay with him because this is an ongoing process… Read more »

Bob N16

philmar, I’d ask Kiwior to play RB!

Ruell Walters does look a prospect though, Cedric not so much!

Luteo Guenreira

Naming them in the 25 man list is that breathe confidence, not a default list It’s the manager saying I have faith in you, not some back alley list Why’s that so hard for you, you’re back to wearing your arguendo toga here again,Haven’t you seen enough of the nothingness of Cedric? The simplest answer is because they can? They added Cedric because they could, at absolutely no consequence to anything else. It has nothing to do with whether Cedric is something or nothing. It’s simply taking advantage of the situation to be able to carry as many players as… Read more »


If wankgate plays saka tonight … I’ll be furious…
There is no reason to play him.


I didn’t even realise that Cedric was still at the club…


Eddie is really rocking the England camp from those training videos that have been released.
Hope this exposure, even if he doesn’t get minutes in today’s game against the scots spurs him unto greater heights.


Eddie has really grown into a massive hulky figure, gone is that boyish stature.


Just seen that former LG darling (myself included) Julian Draxler is still in his 20s, how in Christ is that possible?

Was he not on that same Schalke team as Neuer in 2010/11?



‘Only the strongest males survive crossing the sea from Africa to Europe.
Its a win for European gene pool’

Mmmmm……..maybe strongest boats might be more important?


Draxler broke into senior football very young though

AFC Forever

Zacharse Manchester United have real problems. Hard to accept they were the dominant force in English football and are still labelled the biggest club in Europe.. Highest wage bill in Europe but a broken culture, not dissimilar to what Arteta inherited. When you watch their captain waving his arms around in the air, or recall the behaviour of Ronaldo on the touchline not so long ago, you see a club that has lost its discipline. Toxicity spreads like wildfire. Mason Greenwood is a talented but unpleasant lad they’ve had to part company with. Antony is now absent dealing with personal… Read more »


Ramsdale & Rice start, Saka & Eddie on the bench.

Glad to see Ramsdale get a chance, likewise to see Saka get a rest.

Not sure why Eddie isn’t starting.


AFC Forever

I think it is fairly obvious by now that Southgate is an extremely conservative manager.

This became very apparent during our last Workd Cup campaign. Having Grealizh in MF suddenly lives up the team.

What does he do in the final?

He doesn’t play him. I believe that had Southgate played Grealish in our f8nsl vs France and we could have pulled it off.

I am convinced that this was the game that shell-shocked Southgate in being very conservative up until now.

It is as if he is afraid of losing his job.


This became very apparent during our last World Cup campaign. Having Grealish in MF suddenly livened up the team.


Nice to see Aaron being selected and playing tonight.

Hopefully Eddie is subbed in tonight to cement his first cap fir England.


Glad Saka is getting a deserved break


Foden knew nothing about that
Hope our German gets that type of lucky break on Sunday


Me too Dissenter.

He does need it. Not a bad thing either that Eddie was not selected today. Keeps him fresh to.


Lovely to see Foden score. Lovely payback for his selection.

And just as I write this, Bellingham scores.

0-2 to England!!

Thierry Martinelli

Spain sacking Enrique was the best decision they’ve ever made for thier team.


It will be pretty awkward for Rich and Don railing against immigration while being spoon fed and having their ass wiped by an immigrant in their retirement community. – Suella has a deal for cut price retirement accommodation in Rwanda – Un and Rich are on the list


Scotland are poor, no benchmark.
Foden meant the goal.
Bellingham is incredible.
Rashford? Gashford..
Harry Maguire is just Southgate saying … fuck you, I’m in charge.
Walker, best form of his life.
Even the waistcoat wearing dullard must be able to spot Rambo is a better option than Dickford.

Rice off please, keep Saka onnbench

Please bring Rice off. Thank fuck


Aaw few beers tonight… you get the gist..


Of all players, Maguire scores an own goal.

What a terrible player. How he got to this level is a mystery.


Saka coming on – no sign of Eddie yet

Josip Skoblar

Our Bill is playing for France tonight. Germany 1-0 up.


1 -3 up after sublime movement by Bellingham to lose his marker and lay off a perfectly weighted pass to Kane.

This livened up the game I must say.


Bellingham is ridiculous – such a shame we couldn’t nab him when he was younger.

Kane off, Callum Wilson on. There goes Eddie’s hope of getting some minutes.


Maguire: “why always me?”

Luteo Guenreira

Havertz with a nice assist to Sane for 2-0, good to see.

Jim Furnell

Someone’s probably already posted this but just looked at the England result. Why is that dipshit playing Saka for 20 minutes in a pointless mismatch


A cursory glance at sky sports for the score is the maximum amount of enthusiasm I could muster regarding these internationals. What a snore fest

Can’t wait for Sunday

We have Everton Bournemouth spurs then city. if we can manage 10 points we’ll have at a minimum kept pace with city and likely built up a little more buffer from the chasing pack.

We’ll see if we can manage that



I think your wallchart is out of date. We have Everton, PSV, Spurs, Brentford, Bournemouth and Lens all before City.


FB I was only saying the league

I know it makes me sound terrible but I’m less interested in the CL for now. And even less so in the league cup

Ofc hope we beat PSV and Lens but it’s the league I will be more concerned about for now


Also those midweek night games are too late for me so I can’t watch any of those

Will make exceptions if we reach CL knockout stages and face massive opposition

But I get ill if I do those 3am games and can’t justify it to watch PSV and co