Author Archives: keenosafc

What has Saliba done to desrve the hype from obsessed fans?

Today Arsenal were linked with Brighton’s Ben White. Reports are the South Coast side are demanding £40million for him.

I like Ben White.

He performed well ofr Leeds in the Champions last season, and had a decent season for Brighton in the Premier League this.

He is a ball playing centre back who is a level ahead of Rob Holding, and would potentially make a good partner to Gabriel.

But the link to White has woken up the William Saliba fan boys from their slumber.

Some Arsenal fans have a really unhealthy relationship with Saliba.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05: William Saliba of Arsenal during a pre season friendly between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on September 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

They talk about him like he is already a superstar. That he would be one of the best centre backs in the Premier League.

Everytime Arsenal are linked with a central defender, they cry foul play and screa Saliba’s name at the top of their voices.

But how much have they actually seen of him? Probably a handful of games in Ligue 1.

The only time he pulled on the Arsenal senior shirt – in a pre-season friendly against Milton Keynes Dons last summer – he was poor.

Now he is still a kid. Just 20-years-old. So may well develop into a beast of a defender. So I am not writing him off.

But I am also not buying into the hype that is going on.

It feels at times that those hyping Saliba are doing so for the sole reason that they do not like Mikel Arteta.

It is simple in their minds – any player that Arteta does not select regularly (Saliba, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli) is a superstar. Anyone that Arteta likes (Holding, Hector Bellerin, Bukaya Saka) is overatted. Average.

Some fans really do have an unhealthy obession with a player who has yet to make his senior debut for Arsenal. The fact he has “fan accounts” is very odd.

So we awake today with Arsenal being linked to a very good English central defender; and instead ob eing excited about his signing Twitter has gone into overdrive hyping up a player that they have hardly seen.

Saliba is not in the French squad for Euro 2021. He does not even get into their U21 squad. The last time he was picked for a French side was in 2019 for their U21s.

So when you break it down, Saliba was signed under Unai Emery and loaned straight out. Arteta was also happy to see him loaned out. Didier Deschamps prefers Kurt Zouma for the senior squad. And Sylvain Ripoll has yet to call him up to the U21.

That is 4 managers. All of whom have yet to give him a minutes play.

I hope Saliba is giving a chance at Arsenal. But he gets that chance when he is ready.

If the management believe Ben White is a better option. We back that.

The biggest worry is we sign White, there will be a group of fans hoping he makes a mistake and costs Arsenal posts so that they continue tweeting their obession over Saliba. they would not want White, or Arsenal, to suceed.

Have a good Saturday

Keenos

Xhaka, Neves & Social Media “Punishments”

Rumours swirling around that Granit Xhaka could be off to Roma in a deal worth £20million + add ons.

If the deal goes through, it is a good one all around.

Roma get a very good player who would be well suited to the slower, Italian football. Xhaka gets the fresh start he perhaps needs mentally. And Arsenal get a decent chunk of cash.

A few people have questions the fee, highlighting that Arsenal paid £35million for him so selling him for £20million would be a £15million loss. This is incorrect and a narrow way of thinking.

Xhaka has been at the club for 5-years. His original fee would have been fully amortised across the accounts during the time. That means for accounting purposes, we have no more of his transfer fee to write off.

So from the accounts point of view, the £20million (if paid upfront) will be considered pure profit. We do not have to offset any of the incoming fee against what we paid for him originally.

It also needs to be taken into account that when we signed Xhaka at 23-years-old, he was considered one of the best midfielders under 25 in Europe. 5 years on and his star has waned.

Add in the fact he only has 2-years left on his contract, and wants out, Arsenal can not exactly sit their and demand a huge fee.

I am slightly concerned about Arsenal being linked with Ruben Neves.

He just seems a younger a version of Xhaka with the same strengths and weaknesses.

Neves has a good range of passing, scores the occasional screamer, but is slow across the pitch.

I guess where he is an upgrade is he does not have the “brain farts” that Xhaka does. And if you take away Xhaka’s mistakes, he is actually a decent central midfield options.

Would he be a good replacement? An upgrade? A debate for another day.

Bit of non-Arsenal news and some commentary on what is happening over the cricket.

Ollie Robinson was found to have made some racist and sexist tweets nearly 10 years ago. He made his debut for England last week. He has now been suspended.

Wisden have since “uncovered” tweets from another England player made when he was under 16.

This is going to happen more and more as players breaking through have grown up in the social media world. You will get more sports stars being “exposed” from messages they sent on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc has a child.

Now firstly I understand that Robinson was not a child when he made the messages. But he was already a professional cricketer.

So surely he should have been punished back in 2012 and 2013 when he made the tweets. Not 9 years later?

Likewise the England player who was under 16.

We have all done silly things as an adolescent. Whether it is said something we shouldn’t, stolen from a shop, smoked a bit of weed. The question is should you be “punished” for what you did at 14 or 15 when you are 23 or 24?

My feeling is that if the punishment was not handed out when the incident happened, they should not be handed out at all.

It can not be a case of “oh he is in Kent’s second XI, it does not matter what he Tweets”. And then 8 years later “Oh he is now an England international. Lets suspend him for something he said 8 years ago”.

Now I am not excusing the behaviour of Robinson as a 19 year old. But what I am saying is suspending him 8 or 9 years later just because he is now playing on a bigger stage is wrong.

The same will happen in football.

How long until you get someone who has risen up through the leagues like a Jamie Vardy, go on to make their England debut only for someone to find Tweets they made 10 years earlier as an 18-year-old?

As above, more and more players have grown up during the social media era. And as a result these sorts of stories will become more and more regular.

If what they said 10 years ago was not deemed punishable then, when they were a professional, it should not be punishable now.

Punish players for tweeting racist and sexist comments. But punish them when they said it. Not 9 years later just because they have risen to a bigger stage.

The only reason Robinson has been suspended is because he now plays for England.

Keenos

Arsenal did not “lose the race” to sign Buendia

Here we go again.

  1. Media link Arsenal to player
  2. Fans either get over excited or slam club for “targeting” player
  3. Player signs for another club
  4. Fans criticise club for “losing the race” to sign said player

If Arsenal wanted to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich City. We would have done.

We have not “lost out to Aston Villa”. We made the decision not to sign him.

Reports of a “bid” in the media last week were well off the mark. This is just speculation made up by the media, or by those on Twitter that crave the attention.

The fact is, no one actually knows who Arsenal have or have not bid for. Transfer business is a closely guarded secret by clubs.

The majority of speculation usually comes from agents. And they basically lie about bids or interest in their client in the hope bids elsewhere materialise.

And this is probably what happened with Buendia.

His people used the name of Arsenal to generate the interest, and by the end of the week a deal had been struck for him to join Aston Villa for a £35million deal.

Now we can debate whether Arsenal should have been in for Buendia.

He is a fantastic talent. A really nice technical player. The sort of player that we need.

But there is also something to say that he has ended up at Aston Villa and not one of the 10 clubs who finished above them.

There is a huge step up from Championship to Premier League. Buendia’s stats from last year in comparison to the season before show that. So you can kind of see why clubs were perhaps sceptical about spending big on him.

Ultimately, we will only really know if Arsenal were right not signing him when we see who we actually sign – and how they perform in comparison.

Say we go and sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, or add Houssem Aouar. Both similar players to Buendia but better.

You also have Martin Odergaard who spent the 2nd half of last season on loan

There are reports that Edu and Arteta prefer Odergaard.

“We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do,” said Arteta when asked about keeping Odegaard.

“He’s not our player. We will have discussions in the next few weeks. And respect first of all because he’s a Real Madrid player, and we will have those communications.

I always advise during the off-season that you are best off ignoring the attention seekers.

The media use transfer speculation to drive traffic to their sites. The same as those blogs who constantly write about transfers (obscuring the players name from the title). It is click bait.

And then following it up with an article that “Arsenal lose race to sign” a player gets them even more hits.

Those saying “Arsenal are a dead a club. Can’t even beat Aston Villa to the signing of a player” really need to take a look at themselves.

Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester City, Tottenham, West Ham, Everton and Leeds also have not signed Buendia. Were they all beaten to his signing? Or do they all have targets elsewhere?

Arsenal were not beaten to the signing of Buendia. Arsenal decided not to sign Buendia.

Keenos