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Spotify-wrapped is probably the most depressing part of the year. I used to be a new music god, I’d go and see new bands play at a duck pond in Dalston and older people would bow at my majestic knowledge of the smaller stages of every shit East London festival going.

No longer.

For 4 years in a row my top 5 artists have been the same. I spend $15 a month on Spotify Premium so I can access to the entire world’s music catalogue when I could go to a car boot sale, buy 5 CDs, and be done with the music scene forever. What a f*cking joke I’ve become.

However, the people who listen to The Arsenal Opinion have been an absolute delight. Thank you for sharing us in your Top 5s for the year. We love it. There’s no bigger privilege than having people read your Arsenal musings on the toilet in the morning, then grabbing a coffee, and main-lining you on their daily commute.

Thank you!

We’re at that time of the year when you have to sift through a lot of transfer fog. There have been a few stories this weekend that are interesting. Here’s my hot-take on both of them.

1) Aaron Ramsdale to Newcastle

This story is interesting on many levels. So let’s break it down.

There are only a few clubs in the world that can afford to pay more than £35m for a goalkeeper. Most of them are in the Premier League.

Newcastle has emerged as a prime candidate for a number of reasons.

Eddie Howe likes English players in the same way Arteta does.

Nick Pope is a brilliant shot-stopper, but deeply average with the ball at his feet.

Eddie Howe is a progressive coach who wants to unlock defenders who can play with a ballplaying keeper.

Eddie Howe had Aaron Ramsdale with him at Bournemouth and liked him. This is Aaron explaining how Eddie gave him a second chance early his career.

The trigger for Ramsdale’s rise rests on a clanger 14 months ago, when he was due to be among the substitutes for a Carabao Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge, in a matchday squad for the first time since returning from a loan spell at Chesterfield. “I missed the bus. Slept in,” he says, sheepishly. “We had to be in at 9.30am for the pre-match walkthrough because it was an evening game and the bus was leaving at 10.30am. Zeina [the club’s player liaison officer] came and woke me up at the house. I was about an hour late for being on time to training and about 20 minutes after the bus as well.

“That was the penny-dropping moment, because I was at home while they were playing and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was distraught. My dad drove down from Stoke to be with me that night and the night after to check I was all right. That was definitely the turning point where [I realised] it wasn’t all rosy, it wasn’t academy football any more and I’m very grateful the manager gave me a second chance. I think I’ve taken it.”

Managers like to de-risk transfers. Howe clearly knows the keeper, what he can do, and where his ceiling is… it makes sense that Aaron could be seen as a net-positive to Newcastle.

Ben Jacobs, the Chelsea journalist, has come out and said that Arsenal aren’t interested in doing a deal in January. Apparently we want to keep Aaron around just in case of a Raya injury.

This is fog.

Arsenal is trying to create faux leverage for a keeper who has a very limited market.

Remember this: If Aaron doesn’t get a move to Newcastle, his next option is Wolves. They’re a ‘loan with an option to purchase’ kind of club and they simply don’t have the clout to offer us what we need.

If Arsenal gets an offer that comes close to what we paid for Aaron, we’ll take it. There’s no way we’ll scupper his England #1 chances this summer to keep him on the bench.

What makes me even more certain of this? We can’t buy players right now because of FFP. We had to defer the transfer of Raya because we’d have breached Premier League profit and sustainability rules. Arsenal needs some sales if we want to make moves in January and Aaron is our best bet for a decent wedge of cash/money.

2) Move for Palhinha

Rumors entered the chat that we’re not interested in Douglas Luiz… we actually want Fulham midfielder Palhinha.

Ok, so he’s a great player. He has wild stats. He has kept Fulham batting above their average, along with Bernd Leno.


He’s 28 now. We won’t get him in January because we have no money. The player will be 29 in July.

Arsenal isn’t the kind of club that invests big money in 29-year-olds. Life catches up at that age, players start to get injuries, and you have very limited resale value unless the Middle East comes calling.

The player has a five-year deal, and Fulham has a 1-year option on his contract. There’s no deal to be had here.

The sweet spot for Arsenal with players is 21-24 yrs old, 3-5 seasons’ worth of experience, and high levels of sell-on. I just don’t see us shifting our profile for a player who is playing for Fulham.

Arsenal needs to find upgrade options for Jorginho, Partey, and Big Mo. I’m just not sure we need to be looking at players that are the same age. We need players that are ok sharing the season with Declan Rice who NEVER gets injured. Who does that at City? Kalvin Phillips who gets about 13 minutes a season.

Also, I don’t know how many times I have to repeat it… the most important player we can get fit for January is Thomas Partey. He knows our system; he’s world-class, and he owes us six months of proper performances before he gets sold off to Italy or Saudi.

Ok, let’s talk about the City/Spurs game.

I wanted City to win. Don’t talk to me about big picture. I wanted Ange to lose 4 in a row. The beauty of this desire is there was no loss for me.

A 3-3 draw worked out nicely. City going into the final 10 minutes of the game-winning… then getting sucker-punched by Big Ange tactico magic was pretty sexy.

Spurs squeaked a draw – they scored 3 goals off 0.4 xG. They are a wildly lucky side just like they were under Conte. I’m not worried about them.

Manchester City? I won’t say it out loud, but they don’t look the same as they did last season, even though I know they are the same side AND I thought this last November.

Their big miss in midfield is KDB. They aren’t the same side. He is always going to be injured moving forward.

Will they bang in 2024? Who knows. My hope is that at some point, they’ll tank. I hoped that last season. Regardless, Spurs kept us sitting pretty at the top of the league.

Liverpool upset me. They were losing to Fulham with 10 minutes to go, then Endō and Trent stepped in with two outrageous goals. I think we have to accept that maybe King Klopp has rebuilt another monster side we have to worry about this season. That sort of win combined with their Manchester City result, feels a little like they might be back.

Overall – it’s starting to feel a little like the top 4 this season might be between Arsenal, Liverpool, City, Newcastle… and Spurs.

We’ll see.

More on Luton this Tuesday.

Ok, we’re done here. Get on our latest podcast RIGHT NOW.

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Right now our worries are in defence..Jesus an Kai are gelling at the moment.. Reull Walters should
be given gametime in case we need him to rest injured players. Kiwiors niche is not premier league