Category Archives: Arsenal

Arsenal facing FA Cup Final defensive crisis

Laurent Koscileny – OUT – Suspended after his red card against Everton on the last day of the season. A pointless challenge in a pointless game that could have cost us the cup. Idiot.

Gabriel – OUT – Was carried off against Everton on a stretcher. Has done his knee ligaments. Will be out for at least 8 weeks.

Calum Chambers – OUT – Cup tied having played for Middlesbrough in 2 FA Cup ties. Had he not played in those games, he would have been free to play, with his loan being over.

Shkodran Mustafi – HIGHLY DOUBTFUL – Missed the Everton game with concussion, we are at the liberty of the doctors and he will not play until he has fully recovered. Unbelievable there are idiots out there who think Mustafi should play through his illness. Player safety is more important than a trophy.

Kieran Gibbs – DOUBTFUL – Has a slight thigh strain. Yet to train this week, but Arsenal might need to risk his fitness.

Mathieu Debuchy – OUT – Been AWOL since he picked up a hamstring injury way back in November against Bournemouth.

Carl Jenkinson – OUT – Most recently spotted playing polo on Shergar with Lord Lucan and Elvis Presley.

So what does that leave Arsenal with? Not very much.

Best case scenario, Mustafi and Gibbs return, we stick with 3 at the back:

Holding Mustafi Monreal

Bellerin                                                 Gibbs

Worst case scenario, Mustafi and Gibbs are out, we return to 4 at the back:

Bellerin Holding Mertesacker Gibbs

Likely scenario, Mustafi OUT, Gibbs Plays, we stick with 3 at the back:

Holding Mertesacker Monreal

Bellerin                                                 Gibbs

Less likely scenario, Mustafy plays, Gibbs OUT, we stick to 3 at the back

Mustafi Mertesacker Holding

Bellerin                                                 Monreal

No matter the scenario, Laurent Koscileny, as a senior player, has let the club down badly.





Kasper Dolberg, Alexis Sanchez Agent & Henry Onyekuru

Kasper Dolberg

Danish teenager is a talented youngster. One to watch in tonight’s game.

There is talk that he could be the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That he was taken to Ajax but the same man that engineered the moved of Christian Eriksen from Denmark to Ajax. But he could also be the next Nicklas Bendtner.

His presence, and a few other Ajax youngsters who look promising, will at least make tonight’s game against Manchester United interesting.

Where is Alexis Sanchez’s agent?

The answer is in Munich. And depending on how you want to tell the story depends on what story you tell.

The British media have, as expected, gone with the Alexis Sanchez agent in Munich with the story going on with how he is in discussions with Bayern Munich over a move for Alexis Sanchez.

The reality is Sanchez’s agent is Fernando Felicevich. Felicevich is also the agent of Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is a Bayern Munich player.

Now I might not be the smartest guy in the world, but I would suggest that Felicevich is in Munich to discuss with Bayern about his client who currently plays for them. Especially taking into consideration Vidal’s contract expires in 2019, and Bayern have just lost Xabi Alonso. He will be knocking on the door at Bayern asking for more money for his client.

Overpriced Youngsters

I have spoken briefly before about how crazy prices are for potential and this has been highlighted once more by Real Madrid paying £38million on a 16 year old. It is stupid money.

Last week I had a debate in a Whatsapp group over our South American scouting. A friend demanded to know why we never uncover young talents from South America. I pointed out that every top player who has come to Europe, Arsenal have known about, but for whatever reason have not signed.

South Americans coming to Europe fall into handful of categories for me;

Need a work permits: It is not easy to get a work permit for the UK, in comparison to other EU countries. When you look at the migration patterns of those from the two strongest South American counties – Argentina and Brazil – their youngsters tend to end up in two countries.

Argentinean’s end up in Italy – as many have Italian heritage – whilst Brazilians end up in Portugal, and then move to Spain.

Very few teenager unknowns with no caps at international level end up in the UK.

Now Arsenal could do what they did with Carlos Vela and Joel Campbell, buy in the player than loan them out to a country until they get a work permit, but in memory, this has never worked for any club in the Premier League, not just Arsenal.

So the uncapped unknowns do not join Arsenal simply because they do not get the work permit

Expensive imports: Players like Gabriel Jesus and Neymar are talented players. These are players who would not have needed a work permit. Already capped by Brazil, they would get a UK visa based on their special talent. But then they both cost a lot of money.

Gabriel Jesus cost Manchester City £27m. The transfer of Neymar from Santos to Barcelona was revealed to have cost the Spaniards £71.5 million.

Whilst Neymar has ended up the top player and justified his fee, so many other South American’s end up failing. Gabriel Jesus has shown some ability for Manchester City, but after 10 games, it is impossible to already call him a success. He could end up the next Neymar, or could easily end up the next Pato.

From South America, and mainly Brazil, you are paying a lot of money for potential, and so often those players do no live up to their big price tags. Vinícius Júnior certainly falls into the expensive imports category. £38m for a player who can not legally join for another 2 years…

Third party ownership: Another reason why South Americans do not tend to end up in England in the early stages of their career is due to the 3rd party ownership of many youngsters in Brazil.

So many players are owner partly by the club, and partly by other parties. Whether this be hedge funds, agents, or the players own parents. This leaves a lot of people to negotiate with, and pushes the prices up.

In places like Portugal, where 3rd party ownership is ignored, clubs need only buy out the selling clubs portion, transfers are a lot easier to do.

When Neymar joined Barcelona, his parents received a €40 million from the deal. It has ended up in a long running tax fraud case both in Spain and Brazil. Very messy. You can see why clubs often avoid these deals.

Arsenal do have a scouting network in Brazil and South America, but it is such a hard market to find potential that is not overpriced and can get a work permit. £38m for a 16 year old…

A reported target for Arsenal is 19 year old Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru. He is this years Belgium top scorer. The price reported to be £6.8m.

Whilst clubs around Europe look at 18 year old Kylian Mbappe for £80+m and Brazilian wonder kids with high prices and dodgy agents, there are plenty of other, equally talented youngsters around the world who have just yet to break through, yet to become a name, and it is those we need to target.

If you are moaning about the link with Onyekuru, you probably would have moaned if last season Arsenal spent ~£10m on a 17 year old Mbappe who had scored just 1 goal for Monaco. Roll on a year and the Frenchman is the hottest property in Europe.

You can not moan that we do not uncover youngsters, then when we move for one, moan that we are buying unknown youngsters.

Personally I would rather we stayed away from the unproven South Americans, the over-priced over hyped Europeans, and use our scouting network to find the gems.

Have a good day guys, stay safe


Arsenal Need Evolution, Not Revolution

So, here I am. A 36-year old bloke who really should be revising for a couple of university exams in the next ten days, and instead I’m sat here wondering just why I think so differently to a great many other Arsenal fans, and on a great many things….

Thursday Night Paranoia

Ok, so we’ve now got to play in the Europa League, and that means Thursday night games and the resulting inevitable panic over a new schedule. But why? Thursdays are a day like any other, and it’s still 11 men against 11, and it’s still 90 minutes, so why all the fuss? I just don’t get it.

Every Thursday, followed by every Sunday. Unconventional, granted, but there’s no reason at all why supposedly professional players should suddenly find themselves unable to cope with it. If anything, the fixture schedule is actually better than any we’ve had while playing in the Champions League, when half the matches were on a Tuesday, half on a Wednesday, and the weekend league game getting shunted into any one of half-a-dozen different slots over three days, all at the whim of the TV people.

No more Napoli away on a Wednesday, then Liverpool away on a Saturday lunchtime, and people panic about Thursday-Sunday-Thursday? Behave.

Director of Football = Magical Solution / “Bring Back David Dein!”

Now this is one I really struggle with.

Sure, we’ve been an abject shambles in the transfer market ever since he left in 2007, but would bringing back a 73-year old man who hasn’t worked in club football for a decade really solve all of our transfer issues? (And that’s quite apart from the role his agent son, Darren, played in ripping the heart out of that team with the transfers of Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri and Van Persie).

The other, similar, call is that the club should appoint a Director of Football to oversee all transfers and contracts, but – apart from Wenger’s oft-stated refusal to work in such a model – what is the point of someone else getting it right off of the pitch only for Wenger’s outdated training methods getting them injured, tactical nativity failing to get the best from them, or, as with Lucas Perez this season, simply leaving a proven talent to rot in the reserves because Wenger’s ego was deemed to be more important than the interests of Arsenal Football Club.

I personally believe that the one man in sole charge is still the best model for a successful football blub. For example, Liverpool’s insistence on everything going through their own ‘transfer committee’ is partially to blame for their recent struggles under Klopp and his predecessors of the last few years.

If everything was going right, would people still be calling for a total restructuring of the way the club operates? Of course not. What we actually need is a CEO to take the financial and paperwork jobs off of the manager, so all they have to do is give a list of players he wants to sign/keep, and then everything happens without them, leaving them to concentrate on getting things right on the training ground and pitch. What we need is Ivan to step up and start doing his job.

Blame the Board!

Stan Kroenke is not a bad chairman. There, I’ve said it.

The only thing that you can criticise him for is the £3million he has laundered out of the club in each of the last two seasons, but considering the money that the previous board, under Sir Peter Hill-Wood, Danny Fiszman, Dein and Ken Friar paid themselves in wages, “expenses”, 5-star travel and accommodation to away and European games and even in using the club’s facilities for their own business deals, Stan’s “consultation fee” is probably less of a percentage of the club’s income than that lost to anyone else ten or twenty years ago.

In fact, the only thing which you can blame him for is his hands-off approach and lack of pressure he puts on those he employs. Although he certainly lives up to his ‘Silent’ nickname with his hands-off approach, is that also in itself a bad thing? Would we rather instead have an egotistical chairmen treating the club like his own toy and constantly meddling in everything? Not only would none of this be a problem if we were top of the league and everything else was fine, but there’s plenty of fans from other clubs out there who would love to have him at theirs.

Both the lack of a Director of Football and the owner’s hands-off approach would not be a problem if the team was playing well, being run well, competing in Europe and winning league titles at home. As with everything else at the club, its failures belong to one man and one man alone. The man with “complete control of the football side of the business”. Arsene Wenger.