A TALE OF TWO SIGNINGS

by .

Fancy a guest post today? Why not. How about from Jon over at Woolwich1886? Sounds good, but why? My dad used his work to calm people down in the family GC. If you can calm my dad down, then you have me curious… so here it is, enjoy!

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Two signings—Declan Rice and Kai Havertz—have had introductions about as opposite as one can imagine. Rice, the Prem-proven talisman, has promptly picked up right where he left off with West Ham, Fresh off of winning whatever the European Conference League trophy is, Rice has slotted in seamlessly, turning in four confident performances capped off with a dramatic late winner against Man U just before the international break. Havertz’s transition has been—how do I put this delicately?–somewhat more of a muddle. For as much as a romp as it would be to revel in Rice’s exploits, let’s not be afraid to get our hands dirty with a closer look at Havertz.

That transfer fee. The “Chelsea reject”. The flop. Havertz has come into an ambitious Arsenal side determined to go one better than bottling the Prem last season. As such, each new signing has to step up and deliver. We’ve seen it from Rice. We’d seen it from Timber. We may yet see it from Raya. Havertz, however, hasn’t taken his chances and, instead, seems to be struggling with that three-part burden. It’s not that £62m is in and of itself a monstrous fee. It’s large, to be sure, and we have to feel like we did Chelsea a favour given their ridiculous spending and possible violation of FFP, as if that were a real thing that exists. That fee, like our own history of taking in Chelsea’s rejects, from Jorginho to Willian to Luiz to Čech, has saddled Havertz with a burden that is perhaps unfair. It’s not his fault that we’ve a history of disappointing transfers from the wrong side of London to the right, but it does feel like he has to break his duck and fast if he’s to shake the “flop” label.

There is good news to be had even if it isn’t quite as satisfying as seeing him actually make contact with the ball for a gilt-edged chance in the thirteenth minute. Havertz is second only to Saka for key passes per 90. He’s making intelligent runs into space, offering support to teammates with the ball, getting between the lines, and finding positions from which to score. Of course, the fact that he hasn’t scored is what stands out to most fans, but do him a favour. The next time he plays (which will probably be against Everton on Sunday, don’t watch the ball. Watch Havertz. Is he lolly-gagging à la Özil, or is he finding those spaces from which he can create chances for others or perhaps score? I’d wager that it’ll be the latter.

Let’s step back and consider the fact that Havertz, while at Chelsea during three very formative years, played under no less than four managers—Lampard, Tuchel, Potter, Bruno, and Lampard (again). Maybe that’s five. With the Die Mannschaft, he’s had to endure the tumultuous tenure of Hansi Flick. Imagine or remember the confusion, frustration, and doubt you’d feel when a minor change occurs where you work—maybe there’s a new sign-in procedure or different way to request a sick-day. Maybe there’s a new cover sheet to put on the TPS reports. You get my point. Havertz has been on an odyssey that Odysseus himself might respect. Ever-changing managers, ever-changing tactics, ever-changing positions…is it any wonder that this one-time wunderkid looks like a baby giraffe on roller skates?

Back to the present: Havertz has been playing for the most part behind Martinelli and Nketiah because of Jesus’s injury. Martinelli has been guilty of a little too much hero-ball to start the season, keeping the ball and looking to shoot rather than pass, and Nketiah has been similarly guilty of looking to score first. That’s understandable to a certain degree. However, given a chance to play behind Trossard and Jesus, two players who are both more-willing and more able to create for others, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Havertz score a goal or two.

I’m not here to say that Havertz is definitely worth what we paid. All I’m saying is that, after four matches, it’s far too early to label him a flop. The flip-side to that coin, I acknowledge, is that the positive take-aways I’ve offered come after just four matches. Hell, it took Dennis Bergkamp, an established world-class talent, a half-dozen matches to make a positive impression. Hold that thought—I’m not suggesting that Havertz will follow in Bergkamp’s footsteps. Depending on whom you ask, he is either the best or the second-best player to have ever played for this club. My point is this: if it took him six matches to break through, it might take Havertz just as long if not longer.

He picked up a nifty assist for Germany against France, playing Sané through on goal. Sané, perhaps still recovering from being pocketed by Tomiyasu a few days prior, finished the chance that Havertz created. It’s hardly a stoppage-time winner against Man U, but it may just give Havertz the confidence he needs to go into Goodison Park and score that first goal. From there, the floodgates shall open.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find more like it on an almost-daily basis at woolwich1886.com. You can also follow the author on Twitter (X?) at @LeftLegOfLiam.

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R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Bacray…
Eddie is 40m back up…
With so many creatives it’s bout getting the ingredients correct…
The colonel did it with his magic 11 ….
So arteta needs to find his …

bacaryisgod

R.S.P.C

Eddie is not back-up for Saka.

Hitman

This article is nonsense. It’s not just the transfer fee. Havertz rates himself as as £300k pw player.
That’s on him. He wanted to be highest paid. If those your terms for joining – you’d better hit the ground running. Those were Messi and Ronaldo salaries not long ago.
He has to be star player in the team if he thinks he is worth that. Not interested in making runs and attacking space.
Goals, assists, lots of them.

Dissenter

Bacary “For me, it’s less about Havertz and more a question of wrong priorities. I think after last season, Xhaka could have been persuaded to stay. He said he wanted a new challenge but playing again in the Champions League for Arsenal would have been a new challenge for him here. I think with Xhaka, they had persuaded him to stay so many times that he just had to go. Xhaka is one of the few Arsenal players I’ve connected with in the last 15 years of Arsenal. His story looked eerily closer to my story. Mikel too loved him,… Read more »

bacaryisgod

Hitman

‘Havertz rates himself as as £300k pw player. That’s on him. He wanted to be highest paid’

First, we don’t know for sure what his compensation is but Spotrac has him at 280k per week, not far off from 300k.

We also can’t read Havertz’s mind to tell if he rates himself as a 300k per week player. Arsenal determined that was the rate they would pay him based on negotiations with his agent. That’s not on him, but on Arsenal. All they had to do was say ‘no thanks’.

bacaryisgod

Dissenter

‘Mikel too loved him, if any one was able to convince him, it would have been Mikel . He just had to go’.

You’re probably right and maybe he had to be persuaded to stick around for last season too.

The Brady bunch

Pedro is dancing on the head of a pin like all good Arteta devotees are told to do

One

The Brady bunchSeptember 14, 2023 22:12:39
Pedro is dancing on the head of a pin like all good Arteta devotees are told to do

Is it a bad thing to believe in a coach that’s giving our team it’s best football in years? I know all clubs have arseholes, didn’t expect ARSENAL to have a good number of them. The funniest part is these idiotic critics keep dropping stupid shit to enable themselves sound valid. Disappointing.

Northbanker

AFC – sounds great doesn’t it.

The CEO role is difficult when you have the dominant Kroenkes and their hatchet man Lewis.

For me the most obvious person would be Josh.

Or you go more radical and get a big hitter who can really expand our revenue base. Just not sure how the dynamics would work though with the other directors

Luteo Guenreira

“Xhaka is one of the few Arsenal players I’ve connected with in the last 15 years of Arsenal. His story looked eerily closer to my story.”

Waiting for the story of how Dissenter middle fingered the booing crowd after his dance performance at the DC Area Talent Show. I really hope the song was Pony by Ginuwine.

MidwestGun

Pedro is dancing on the head of a pin
____
Pedro didn’t write this article .

One

Reuell Walters is the like for like replacement of Jurrien Timber. He’s very press resistant, strong (for his age) and carries the ball a lot. Wow… I mean, In the first half of the video he’s driving more into attack from midfield than a centre half should. If I was told that he’s a DM, I would believe this. Kid’s amazing.

Here check him out.
https://youtu.be/BCWakoLP1ss?si=YMv2LnVioXsXvD71

China1

Dissenter ‘Xhaka is one of the few Arsenal players I’ve connected with in the last 15 years of Arsenal. His story looked eerily closer to my story.’ Haha did you tell your employers to fuck off? I did once actually when I used to teach English at a training center to little kids here. Maybe one or two on here May recall there was a fuck off huge explosion in the port of Tianjin which made world news several years ago. I live just outside the blast impact site and saw it as it happened from my kitchen window which… Read more »

Madhu

Man U play Brighton this Saturday. They are like chalk and cheese. One likes the ball so much they could be accused of taking it home with them and the other just doesn’t want the ball. Would be a fascinating watch.

Dark Hei

There is also Benayoun!

The only Chelsea player to qualify for CL on that year lol! Too bad he couldn’t stay.

MidwestGun

Nigel.. again… Pedro didn’t write this article.

“Fancy a guest post today? Why not. How about from Jon over at Woolwich1886? Sounds good, but why? My dad used his work to calm people down in the family GC. If you can calm my dad down, then you have me curious… so here it is, enjoy!”

Jon from Woolwich 1886 did .

Madhu

Let’s go for a Women CEO.

Madhu

Woman I mean

Patrick O'Brien

‘Brainless is the inability to make a comment without insulting people.’

Well that’s 99% of your audience gone!

Nigel Tufnel

Pedro, What does it matter if you wrote the post or not? Really .. I like your writing, obviously… But are you going to put up someone else’s headline post if you don’t agree with it generally? I was just thinking about something very smart that Tom wrote earlier, and I rarely agree with him, but it’s about the expectations put on Havertz because of the price tag and a few other reasons. Even the best fans are saying that Kai will be fine once he gets a goal or two, and maybe that’s true, but why the unreasonable worrying… Read more »

Northbanker

Just watched the video of Walters that One posted last night. I know it’s a YT compilation but only affirms my belief he is going to break through this season. What a talent. If Saliba is missing he must be the replacement

China1

I don’t know one way or the other if Havertz is going to work out 1) he has enough good attributes to be a great signing 2) he hasn’t been consistently good for the last 4 years and that mixed form has continued into his first 4 games at arsenal I hope he follows the path of 1 and fulfills his potential. Start has been poor tho and every extra game he plays poorly is adding to the pressure on him. Whilst we’re winning that’s one thing but if we drop points against another weaker team with him being a… Read more »

Markymark

if Pedro wants to stick up guest articles that’s fair enough. It can give voice to diversity of opinion. I did a few for the Gooner and used to await with mounting tension as the potential brick bats would fly. To continually write copy with the whole world being able to comment on it takes some minerals so well done to Pedro for consistently providing this. I have witnessed other sites where you can literally feel the originator goes into a hissy fit and starts hitting out. Myles Palmer was an example of this. . Having said all that classic… Read more »

Markymark

Two players could have major precipice / knife edge type games this weekend
Ramsdale if he has a very solid game could unseat Pickford
Forum favourite Kai ❤️. Time to shine !
Both could see careers go in very different directions

FB

Luteo and Madhu

No offence meant here, but I cannot imagine there would be any shock/resistance to having a female on the board at Arsenal.

The UK has had a female monarch for (round numbers here) 130 of the last 180 years. Never heard a single word of criticism about the monarch because she was female.

Three female Prime Ministers.

Amanda Staveley on the Board at Newcastle Utd, and that’s Saudi owned.

And Karen Brady, CEO (I think) at West Ham Utd.

So Luteo saying it would wind up “the usual suspects” appears unreasonable to put it politely.

Cyril

China- what a great story. Your health is without doubt first. As I’m coming down the other side of the hill – I make this priority. Thankfully I have the best employer out there in my Local Authority. Just did some webinars on sorting my pension out and some depressing reading on average life expectancy on the matter of extra contributions. I’m going all in and gambling -‘half full’ as I am going make it past 90 and rip my Pension provider a new one. Take the work stress out and we will be fine. Sorry to hear of that… Read more »

GoonerDave

Nobody would care if we hired a female CEO, as long as she’s the best candidate. But because of quotas in big business and politics, many would legitimately doubt if she was selected on merit or because of box ticking.
Quotas are an insult to women and will only harm them long term.

FB

GoonerDave

Should have left it after your first sentence.

AFC Forever

Don’t take Luteo too seriously. He’s the biggest sexiest on here!!! There was a stage where all he could talk about was big dudes doing things with other mens wives, wearing stilettos….!!!!

I agree with other posters. Whether a person is male or female is irrelevant the only thing that matters is their ability to do the job. For this position we need the best of the best. If they have some connection with Arsenal all the better. David Dein would be a good shout.

FB

AFC

Oh ok 🙂

To be honest, I don’t really know who is who on here. Probably only take a small handful seriously (you being one) and then a couple I find amusing.

Madhu

GoonerDave there exist clear bais against women hence the quota. The talent and competency were never in question and negotiable.

Madhu

Or negotiable.
Damn I need to read before I click submit

Aasim

You know what I don’t get…. There are teams we play during the season, clear relegation fodder, absolute tatti levels, and that’s easily 7/8 games a season, why do we need to play Saka, Gabby, Saliba, TP in those games. Historically, these are the games you either win 4/5-0 or give the guys on the side a chance. My gripe here is mainly, wanting to see ESR, Patino, Holding, and academy guys not getting a chance in these games. Which would allow us not only to rotate, but also get guys back in form, as well as a glimpse into… Read more »

AFC Forever

FB

Thanks for that, appreciate those comments.

What did you think about my DAVID DEIN suggestion as CEO.?

All that experience operating at the FA, helping set up the Premier League and his ability to get deals done. Plus he’s an Arsenal man. Big statement getting him back.

FB

AFC

Being an old school Arsenal man, and I mean old, I’d be very tempted by Dein for the reasons you mention.

However, I have no knowledge of other potential candidates for the role.

Markymark

AFC Forever- nice idea but I think he’s really getting on in age. I know he does a lot of charitable stuff and talks to prisoners etc so maybe he’s decided to orientate towards good works etc

FB

AFC

While I like the idea of as many “Arsenal” people at The Club as possible, I’m certainly not adverse to having top quality professionals in certain roles, whether they have Arsenal DNA or not.

Markymark

Yeah can’t imagine real push back if we get a female CEO. What I would like is a superb CEO. We are on an upward curve so need someone who has the necessary grit and determination whilst understanding what we are all about. Our marketing has been a bit underwhelming and the Rwanda link up felt a bit out there along with link ups to crypto etc . Can’t see why we were doing piecemeal stuff like that when you could be bringing in brand partners from Rolex , Omega , Tag , Longines, Burberry , Gucci , VW ,… Read more »

AFC Forever

MarkyMark

This fantastic club we support won’t be short of people wanting the role. However, I don’t think we should underestimate how important the position of CEO is. The club has made huge steps forward in the last few years so we need someone who can continue that trajectory. What we must not do is lose sight of the fact that it must be the ‘best person for the job’.

raptora

In before we bring Marina Granovskaia.

FB

Sid

You must be amongst the very select few, and a rare breed indeed of people with Margaret Thatcher culinary quotations at your fingertips 🙂

Northbanker

Rap – agree that Granovskaia would seem to be ideal

AFC – would love it to be Dein but I think that ship has passed. It would be a bit like appointing Wenger as team manager again

Their sell by dates have now expired

Markymark

FB – if it were only culinary quotes that rocked Sid’s boat. I suspect the Iron Lady and Sid’s right hand go back a long way.

AFC Forever

Watched a fantastic interview with Declan Rice, Joe Cole asking the questions. So impressed with his humility, such a grounded lad. COLE: Who do you see as the top players in Europe or the Premier League who play in the position you play now? [sic] RICE: In the Premier League it has to be Rodri. The way he works and keeps that Man City team ticking, he’s a top player. Partey when I came to Arsenal is incredible and has been up until his injury. Tchouaméni at Real Madrid, he’s a youngster as well, aggressive gets on the ball, moves… Read more »

One

NorthbankerSeptember 15, 2023 06:42:23 Just watched the video of Walters that One posted last night. I know it’s a YT compilation but only affirms my belief he is going to break through this season. What a talent. If Saliba is missing he must be the replacement He can’t replace Saliba. He’s more like timber. Goes forward with the ball, uses his strength multiple times to oppress players trying to win the ball from him (especially seen on his weaker left side about twice or thrice, He pushed the ball into his weaker foot and still forced the man trying to… Read more »

One

AFC ForeverSeptember 15, 2023 12:25:55

So, using Rice’s ratings, We have 3 of the top 10 6’s in world football. I mean, I might be wrong but that’s how I see it.

AFC Forever

One “So, using Rice’s ratings, We have 3 of the top 10 6’s in world football. I mean, I might be wrong but that’s how I see it.” Well that might be a stretch mate, you’ll get yourself into trouble doing that. The take from that interview is how grounded and willing to learn Rice is and why it is important to bring in experienced players to help younger players learn. It’s clear Jorginho is respected by football professionals for his abilities. Bringing in players like Jorginho isn’t just about cover, it’s about how they can improve the younger players.… Read more »

Luteo Guenreira

“Don’t take Luteo too seriously. He’s the biggest sexiest on here!!!“

I’m flattered AFCF but I don’t date men.

Luteo Guenreira

“There was a stage where all he could talk about was big dudes doing things with other mens wives, wearing stilettos….!!!!”

I mean, are you sure this wasn’t just a dream you had? One of those sexy dreams. The sexiest.

AFC Forever

Friday Joke Lone Ranger arrives at a Saloon in the Wild West. It’s the hottest day of the year. He ties up his white horse, Silver, and disappears into the saloon. He orders a cold beer and sits down at the nearest table hoping it will cool down. As he’s drinking his beer, a cowboy comes into the bar wearing a huge hat and asks loudly: “Howdy. Whose white horse is that outside?” The Lone Ranger looks up at him, smiles and says, “That’s my white horse, Silver. Why do you ask?” The cowboy takes off his hat, wipes sweat… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

One, Thanks for the Walters video. I’ve watched a few of his videos because he gets mentioned a lot here. The ball carrying is exactly what’s always stood out about him, sometimes looks like a man against boys… and I think he couldn’t get away with most of that against top level opponents. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to see him though, because if we were in dire straits we would just want him to focus on defending first, and avoiding mistakes in the beginning. I didn’t see many examples of his passing ability, but we have to assume… Read more »

China1

Whilst I’d never defend ETH because he’s a prize knob and not worthy of a defense, I think there’s a Freudian slip in Sanchos original tweet outburst which shows he has in fact not been working hard in training this season It struck me as very telling that when he was first challenged by ETH he explicitly said he’d been training well ‘this week’. What person who normally always works extremely hard would use words like ‘I worked hard this week’? Any normal hard working person would say ‘I’ve always maintained high standards and giving 100% in training’. Why mention… Read more »

Wicked Willy

I’m not sure it’s fair or reasonable to expect Walters to step in, even though I love the guy and sincerely hope he becomes a valued member of our squad in years to come. Young CBs rarely break through and perform at the highest level straight away. The only one I can remember being good at young age is Phil Jones. Most have to go out on loan, or bide their time, because almost every mistake they make costs a goal at the elite level. Young attackers have it easy by contrast, especially wingers. The position suits risk taking, exuberant… Read more »

China1

Marina would sort out the absolute shambles that is our inability to flog unwanted players

We’d have recouped an extra 50-70m this summer if she’d been here

jwl

Markymark – you are the psychologist around here – what do you call it when someone for no apparent reason continually makes sex remarks when everyone else talking football? Here’s an example of what I’m talking about and last week they were talking about gay bath house while convos was on football.

“… I suspect the Iron Lady and Sid’s right hand go back a long way”

Positive pete

That’s it then.We’re all in on ‘ Marina’Reckon she’d jump at the chance to f** k the chavs over.She knows her stuff.

rollen

lol get your dirty minds sorted guys, football is nearly back!

AFC Forever

Fantastic news about Martin Odegaard in advanced talks over a new contract. Arsenal fast becoming a destination where every top prospect will want to go. What a great last few years and a complete transformation.

Markymark

Well JWL – it must be the workings of a dirty mind !

Markymark

New post!

Kpankulu

@One and @AFC Forever:

Thanks for your very concise and sensible posts.

@One, you notice that no one has bothered to respond or contradict what you typed at 16:22:32. In their hearts, they know you are right but admitting it would cause them heartburn, and their archaic views and reputation on this forum would collapse like a house of cards.

Judging someone as a flop in a new club and playing a new position after four games is plain old stupid, if you ask me.