Category Archives: Arsenal

Abraham, Willian, New Keeper and More

Tammy Abraham

Will write a bigger blog on Tammy Abraham at some point but a quick few thoughts:

  • Abraham is a good striker and would be an alternative option as 2nd choice
  • He reminds me of Danny Welbeck in that he can play both as a hold up man and run in behind, but is not particularly spectacular at either
  • Personally I would rather give Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun the chance to back up Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang if Alexandre Lacazette leaves
  • But if Mikel Arteta decides to play either Martinelli or Aubameyang on the left wing, we probably do need another striker
  • Just not sure we should be spending £40million on Abraham

Willian

Read an article yesterday which described Willian as a “prisoner” at Arsenal.

The story went that Willian wants out of Arsenal, but teams are reluctant to match his current contract of £220k a week.

Arsenal would probably be willing to let Willian leave for nothing. We are not forcing him to stay.

It is Willian (and his representatives) that will be demanding any new club match his current Arsenal contract.

If he really wanted a move away, he would accept a lower salary.

It is his choice to remain at Arsenal as a “prisoner” earning £220k a week then move elsewhere and earn half of that.

New Keeper

The pendulum seems to have swung back towards Aaron Ramsdale from Sam Johnstone.

At the weekend the feeling was Arsenal had switched their focus towards Johnstone, believing they could get him a lot cheaper than Ramsdale, but it seems that is not the case.

The rumoured price for Ramsdale seems to have dropped from £40m to £30m whilst the Johnstone price is hovering around £20m – certainly not the cut price Arsenal would have hoped.

As for André Onana, Arsenal have been put off by his drug ban and African Cup of Nations representation.

The Ajax keeper would not be available to play until November and would also miss 6 weeks at the beginning of 2022.

Whilst he is hugely cheaper than Ramsdale and Johnstone, we probably would have only done a deal for him if Bernd Leno left.

The English pair are seen as number 2s, whilst Onana would expect first team football.

Martinez

With use linked with Ramsdale at £30million, a few critics have been saying “let Martinez go for £20m only to sign Ramsdale for £30m”.

Those saying this ignore the differences in the transfers.

Martinez had a year left on his contract, wanted to leave to be number 1 and only really Aston Villa were interested in him. Arsenal were not in a position to strong arm Villa into paying more.

The fact Martinez still talks about Arsenal in every interview whilst barely mentions Villa shows he probably regrets leaving us.

Ramsdale at £30million is too expensive, but the £20m we got for Martinez was a good deal.

Leeds and Villa

Seen a few Leeds and Villa fans “mocking” Arsenal in recent days, saying we are no longer a big club, etc, etc having finished 8th.

Reality is they would celebrate finishing 8th (would be Villa’s best season in a decade and Leeds United’s best in 20 years) as a huge success.

And that is what makes us a big club and them still having Championship mentality.

For us, finishing 8th is failure. For Villa and Leeds it is a success.

Keenos

New deals shows Arteta’s trust in youth

A few weeks ago we discussed how Arsenal were showing transfer policy shift with Taveres and Lokonga pursuit.

The impending signing of Ben White – just 23 – is a continuation of this policy.

With Gabriel also just 23 and Kieran Tierney 24, Edu is clearly building a defence for the future.

Depending on who is singed at right back to replace Hector Bellerin, Arsenal will be starting the campaign with one of the youngest back 4’s in the league – but also a back 4 with plenty of experience despite their ages.

A very intelligent player' – Arsenal complete Albert Sambi Lokonga deal |  Arsenal | The Guardian

For a long time, Mikel Arteta has taken flack from some quarters for “hating youth.”

This criticism has always baffled me when you consider the game development of both Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in the last 12 months.

Against Southampton in December, Arteta put out a starting XI which averaged just 24 years and 349 days old, the youngest starting XI for the Gunners at the Emirates in a Premier League game since September 2012.

In the last 6 months, we have seen new contracts for Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney and Folrian Balogun. Smith Rowe is on the verge of a new deal and Taveres and Lokonga have joined the club.

Add in the incoming Ben White and trust in Gabriel, that is 9 players aged 24 or under who all have their long term future at Arsenal secured.

The majority of criticism towards Arteta for “destroying young players” seems to come from those who have an unhealthy obsession with Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba.

Arteta did not destroy Guendouzi. Guendouzi destroyed Guendouzi.

An ego too big for his age and talent, he has issues at L’Orient, issues under Unai Emery, under Freddie Ljungberg and when out on loan at Hertha Berlin last season.

He is 22 going on 8 with his child-like clown behaviour, strops and attitude.

As for Saliba, Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli has told him that he has “a lot to improve”.

The feeling at Arsenal is that Saliba is a fantastic natural talent but at just 20-years-old is not ready. That he needs game time to progress but is best off getting those minutes elsewhere out of the limelight where his mistakes will not be highlighted as much.

Those criticising Arteta than clutch at straws by bringing up Reiss Nelson and Folrian Balogun.

There are some fans that believe players “should get a chance” regardless of the situation and what they have shown.

For Nelson to have got more of a chance with Arsenal, he would have been starting ahead of either Nicolas Pepe or Bukayo Saka on the right hand side.

The fact is just as Nelson was gearing up for his chance, Saka burst on the scene, overtook him and is 2 years younger.

Saka is simply better than Nelson which is why he is starting ahead of him.

As for the Nketiah / Balogun debate; it is interesting that the people who criticise Arteta for not giving youth a chance are then criticising Arteta for giving Nketiah a chance.

It almost feels like they dismiss the young players that Arteta gives a chance too, whilst supporting those he has not yet. As if there is another agenda at play which has nothing to do with Arteta and his policy on youth players, but Arteta and the players he has not given a chance too yet.

Ideally Arsenal wanted Balogun to sign earlier so that he could spend 6 months on loan like Nketiah did with Leeds. The lack of signature on the contract meant that could not happen.

And regardless, last season Nketiah played just 415 minutes of Premier League football whilst Balogun sat in his contract dispute.

Arsenal have 2 fantastic strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette; so even without Nketiah, Balogun would have got very little game time.

And even if he got more game time, you feel those moaning would complain that it was not given to Martinelli. Likewise I bet if Nelson got game time some would moan why that was not given to Omari Hutchinson.

I have even seen some use Miguel Azeez as another example of Arteta “not giving youth a chance”.

Azeez is just 18 years old and only stepped up from U18 to the Premier League 2 last season.

This is where some fans want their cake and eat it.

They will demand Arteta plays a kid, and then if he plays and gets injured they will say he played too much too young. Why not just let a player develop at his own pace?

In the last 6 months Arsenal have lowered the age of the squad, changed the clubs transfer policy and secured our best young talents on new long term deals.

How about we end the discussion on the way Arteta treats young players and just back the kids he backs?

Keenos

Socios deal not all what it seems and could lead to financial ruin for Arsenal fans

It was a genius marketing technique.

Whilst thousands had notifications on for Arsenal’s Twitter awaiting the announcement of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal dropped news of a new commercial partner.

The link up was with a company called Socios whose company moto is “Be more than a fan”.

They have spent the last 2 years linking up with sports clubs including Barcelona, PSG, Juvnetus, Atletico Madrid and now Arsenal.

Socios create a cryptocurrency on behalf of their partner team with the idea that you can buy said “tokens” which allow you to “own a share of influence of your team” and “help your team make the right decisions by voting on official polls”.

“That is fantastic” would be the initial thought of many. A partnership which gives fans more of a a say in what their club are doing.

But things are not that simple. And the partnerships are not good news for fans.

The crypto created for the club – in Arsenal’s case called AFC – can only be bought and sold with Socios own cryptocurrency Chiliz.

So before investing in AFC, you first have to buy Chiliz. With cryptocurrency all being about supply and demand, the more people buying Chiliz will result in that price increasing.

On the face of it, these link ups with clubs are just a way to pump the price of Chiliz upwards, which will make huge profits for the creators who probably still own the majority of coins.

Socios’s goal is not to give fans more of a say but to boost the value of Chiliz.

Then we get onto the “influence your club” side of things.

It creates a situation where you have to pay to influence the club. So you have the haves and have nots.

Want a say on what is happening at Arsenal? Buy AFC. Do not have AFC? You have no say.

And what are we going to actually be able to vote on?

You can bet it will not be decisions such as the European Super League.

The subjects of the votes are decided by clubs and tend to be very insignificant – such as what colour the club coach should be.

So you have a fan thinking that by buying AFC they will have influence over the club. But what they end up voting on is the colour of the bus. Is this influence worth paying for?

And then we have the darker side.

Crypto is a volatile investment. It is basically gambling.

Socios link up with Arsenal is encouraging fans to get involved in crypto trading thinking that they will get to influence the club.

The thing with crypto trading – like any sort of share trading – is the price can go up as well as down.

Crypto is notorious for huge fluctuations and for everyone that is making a lot of money, there are people who have lost a lot of money.

Anyone can buy AFC, it is not limited to just Arsenal members or fans.

So you will have the man on the Clapham omnibus buying tokens in the hope they get to influence the club. And on the other side you will have crypto traders, speculators, buying and selling to make profit.

A fan will be reluctant to sell the token of their club they love. It will be heart ruling the head.

So whilst the traders make profit, it will end up with the fans “bag holding” – A bag holder is an informal term used to describe an investor who holds a position in a security that decreases in value until it descends into worthlessness.

When Atletico Madrid won the league, the price of their coin was 190 Chiliz.

Since that point the price has declined steadily and now sits around 40 Chiliz.

What has happened is as Madrid closed in on the title, fans got excited and bought more ATM (Atletico’s token name). This forced the price to increase.

This then allowed the traders to hit their exit points and they sold en masse, securing their profits.

The result is Atletico Madrid fans now hold a lot of crypto in their club which is worth a lot less than what they bought it. And outside influencers made a lot of money.

“That is just crypto trading” is the argument. And I can understand that if we were buying BTC, XRP, ADA, etc.

Most people investing in crypto will do their own research first.

But the Socios link up with Arsenal is basically encouraging people to invest without doing their research.

It is “you get to influence your club” rather than “capital is at risk”.

The only people this deal benefits are Socios and crypto traders. Your basic fan who might invest in the hope of influencing the club will end up losing a lot of money.

Arsenal are reportedly making £2million a year for the deal.

They are selling out the fan base for £2million knowing it could ruin the lives of fans.

Arsenal are hiding behind the “have more influence” tagline, making the deal seem something positive.

If they wanted to have fans have more influence in the club, KSE would not have forced fans to sell them their shares, they would not have closed the Fanshare programme.

This is all about making money, not having an influence. And it will be others making money at Arsenal’s expense.

For more reading on this, check out @UglyGame on Twitter. There is a reason why Socios have blocked him…

As UglyGame says in the above thread, the Socios deal with Arsenal is nothing more than a cryptocurrency recruitment scheme and it is bad for fans

Keenos