Contract not renewed for one | Quotes about new centre back

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After a pretty drab start to the World Cup, things warmed up nicely yesterday when we witnessed Ronaldo take his game to laser sharp levels of precision, carrying his Portugal team to a 3-3 draw. I have to say, who knows what the f*ck De Gea was up to yesterday, letting a fairly standard shot slip past him, then presenting one of the greatest with all the space he needed for that freekick was careless. I wish he’d play like that Against Arsenal.


Diamond Eyes close to landing DM and GK, but who is he selling?

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Good things come to those who wait, and f*ck me Arsenal fans, we’ve waited a long time for a good summer.

It hasn’t landed yet, but it feels like we’re making progress early in the window and it’s looking very exciting.

David Ornstein can usually afford to go on holiday for most oftransfer window when it comes to Arsenal, but he’s already out there tweeting that we’re in for Lucas Torreira and a goalkeeper. The good money is going on Bernd Leno to fill that position. That’ll mean we’ll have taken two targets from under the nose of Napoli.

The keeper is a very important signing. 2013-14, Leno saved 5 of 8 penalties, so that’s good news. He has sharp reactions, he makes some pretty spectacular saves, and through some extensive research I’ve been doing this week, he looks like he has a good range of passing. I’ve watched him take the ball around strikers, I’ve seen him dink chips over the press and he’s super fast at making decisions.

Petr Cech has been a great servant to the club, but we picked him up after his peak. The goalkeeping game has moved on and successful clubs need to have a keeper who is good with the ball at their feet. We don’t have to play sweeper keeper, but the advantage of having another outlet at the back is immense. How many times have we watched Arsenal concede possession because the only option for Cech is a monster hoof up the pitch?

There’s some scepticism around Leno, Bundesliga pundit Fjortoft had this to say.

“Bernd Leno to Arsenal seems to be just around the corner.

“Was a great talented keeper. It’s fair to say he hasn’t “taken the next step”.

“But a move to England can be good for him.”

I’m not sure we’re in the money leagues to compete for the best in the game. I’d love us to bring in Atleti’s Jan Oblak or Allison from Roma. Reality is, those names demand Champions League money, and sadly, we don’t have that this season. If we do sign Leno, we’re taking a punt on potential that sounds a little like it’s stalled.

On the midfielder role,Torreira is EXACTLY the sort of player Wenger used to pick up back in the day. On the way to being elite… a touch like the time we signed Freddie Ljungberg before he blew up. We’re signing the future of defensive midfield. Remember the days when Arsenal fans were telling everyone that the defensive midfield role didn’t really exist? Muppets. I’m glad we’re solving a problem we’ve had for years, with the right tool. We’ve been so bad at defensive midfielders. Denilson, Flamini, Alex Song to name a few. We signed Xhaka thinking he was box to box, then when Wenger realised he had the pace of a mobility scooter, he jammed him in the deep-lying role despite him having no defensive attributes.

I mean, there really are questions over what the club do with Xhaka. I’m not sure there’s much hope for him. In an Arsenal team that’ll be all about pressing and tactical discipline, I’m unsure how he’ll feet, especially if we sign Torreira. Hopefully, he’ll have a good World Cup, maybe there’s a path back to Germany for him. This is another great thing about the new regime, if something isn’t working on the pitch, we’ll just move the player on. One of the worst parts of the backend of Wenger’s tenure was his inability to own up to a mistake and make a tough decision.

Xhaka has been one of the worst signings of the last 10 years. He’s offered up almost nothing in midfield, and I’ve never seen a player make so many mistakes, so consistently. Give me Torreira, with cover from AMN and I’d be more than happy with that moving forward. Our midfield needs to be based on high energy, fast, powerful player. They obviously need to be technical, but one of the key things our starting 11 has lacked is power. That looks like it’s about to change.

Arsenal are doing a lot of work to bring players in, I’m very interested to see who leaves to balance the books? Ospina? Cech? What happens to Welbeck if he won’t sign? Do we keep Lacazette? Are the club keen on the bloated squad? This is going to be a very disruptive summer. Plenty more to come, and maybe even a shock to the fans at some point.

Some additional backroom news, Freddie Ljungberg is BACK at the club, managing the under 23 team. If you remember correctly, he took an ill-fated job with Joncker at Wolfsburg. He’s now back where he belongs. Good luck to him, it’s truly special to have so many explayers making their way back to Arsenal!

Finally, jump on our podcast. A few people have told me the volume is too low. That’s a power play. To make you concentrate super hard. I have rectified the issue though. So feel free to have another go. Next time, we’ll record it louder.


Crazy free transfer situation + Progress on dream defensive midfielder

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There are two approaches you can take to getting what you want in life. One is to work hard and make it happen with positive vibes, the second is to bitch, moan and palm off your failings onto things outside of your control. I demonstrated Stan C’s approach yesterday. Then this story crossed my lap yesterday by Sol Campbell. This is how he signed off the story.

Competition for jobs as a manager is fierce, I know that. So how do you get that first opportunity? I’ve asked myself that a lot.

Is it through friends? Is it through a good agent? Or is it down to timing? Maybe it’s all three.

One thing I know for sure is that I want to be in that environment – win, lose or draw. I want to build a new career. I want to compete again.

Yes, I’ve had knockbacks. But if it’s worth fighting for, you have to go for it. I’ve always known that.


Collymore unloads on Wrighty for great teeth and elite banter (seriously)

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I cannot love this guy any more than I already do. Sure, he had a shite season, but next year will be different. I’m very much enjoying his excellent attire here. The Arsenal tinted sunglasses are a deep metaphor for outlook on his career at Arsenal so far, the leopard print silk shirt is how he’s planning to connect with his inner animal next season, and after that, I run out of fashion metaphors.


Arsenal signing elite super kids again

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via @t0wey (instagram)

via @t0wey (instagram)

Friends of Le Grove, welcome to the Sunday show.

So, the big news first of all… Arsenal are back in the mixer for signing children. We’ve bagged Joel Lopez, a 15-year-old from Barcelona. Good times. Remember the days when we’d have gaping holes in our squad and we’d go out and sign Giles Sunu as our first target. You’d complain and fans would say… ‘SHUT UP MATE YOU HAVE TO DO THIS, MORE TO COME’… then nothing would come and we’d all be sad. Then Sunu would end up being shite. Then we’d be even sadder.

No more…

Torriera looks like he could be close to joining, the Jean Seri rumours won’t die and we’re still linked to Caglar Soyuncu.

Get ourselves a keeper and it’d be hard to deny we’re having a great summer.

Sometimes, online, you land yourself in a debate you immediately regret. I did that when it was announced the Arsenal Magazine had closed down. People immediately looked for reasons as to its demise, pointing out the very real threat of digital media on print.

My views is there are many reasons the magazine folded.

Firstly, marketing basics. If you’re a magazine, your sole purpose for existence is elite content. If you’re selling a magazine to football fans, it needs to offer up something they’re interested in. GQ don’t put average people on their front covers for a reason. The last 10 years under Wenger have been painful. They’ve lacked progress, high points, or anything press worthy a club could write about. Yes, spaces like this have thrived, but that’s because we can write about whatever the fuck we want.

The demise of Arsene’s magic touch was certainly a factor in declining sales of magazines. Do I have the exact numbers? No. But let’s be real here, our ability to thrive commercially tells you all you need to know about fan propensity to spend. Our shirt deal is substandard, the amount of commercial partners we boast compared to United is pitiful, and no one is looking to break any records to give us a new kit deal. We are not appealing to sponsors, because we don’t win. If fans don’t look at your product association with Arsenal and want to buy, that’s an issue that can be extrapolated into broader elements like what our ability to sell to a global fanbase looks like.

More circumstantial evidence is sentiment around the club, it’s been appalling. Fans weren’t showing up to tickets they’d purchased. The notion that this didn’t impact the sales of all sorts of things is ignorant. To think this wouldn’t have impacted the sales of a magazine or a matchday programme even more so.

Then look at who our partner was for the magazine… Trinity Mirror Group. An organization that has been tanking for years. The magazine looked like shit, it was positioned poorly, and the content ended up online. There was literally no reason to buy it.

Then the question was, how do you buy it? I’ve never been served an advert for it.

Print is struggling, but it’s not dead. There has been a resurgence of fancy mags over the last few years. Mundial, Monocle, Cereal Mag, Racquet and Fantastic Man are just a few examples of publications that are getting it right. They’re beautifully art directed, they’re small batch collectables, they have exclusive content just for print, and the work is always excellent.

If Arsenal wanted to make print work, they could. They could partner with a small print house, do a limited batch run, fill it with exclusive offline-only work, fan op-eds, historical revists, and detailed insights into what goes on behind the scenes. And not the basic bitch shit, I’m talking to sort of work that goes into books (like the GFFN Emery interviews).

They could have made it interesting from a distribution perspective. Look services like Birch Box, where they send you a package of goodies every month for a small fee. Imagine getting a beautiful coffee magazine with some other exclusive club apparel (badge pins, scarves, salt beef bagel coupons). They could tie it up with a paid for app where you could pay to get exlusive long-form content, a bit like a Patreon. It might have podcasts, audiobook stye long reads, and first access to interviews.

There are so many ways Arsenal could have made print a part of the experience. They gave up. The decision would have considered many factors. Their deal with Trinity probably came to a close, they might have shifted staff aroud, and they might have weighed up the chances of a bounce-back being unlikely this year. But let’s not pretend it’s just because print is shite. I feel like Arsenal fans are very quick to give in to the party line, like when the common view was money was the only way for Arsenal to succeed.

… my point here is Arsenal could make this work if they wanted. Vinyl is still a thing, because people like records and bands realised that they could make the product an experience exclusive designs and easter eggs. Hardback books are still a thing, because people like having them on their shelves. Amazon just bought Wholefoods because people still need brick and mortar shops.

Digital has the ability to disrupt many things, but at core, we’re still a tactile species and there will always be a place for the tangible, even in something as fleeting as football.