Tag Archives: Gabriel

How bad was the transfer window for Arsenal?

So I decided to let the dust settle for a bit before writing a bit of a summary on the transfer window, in the hope that the anger within subsides and I can perhaps look at it another way. See if there is any silver lining. Try and write it less biased. And it did work a little bit.

2 players signed, 5 senior players sold, 16 players left the club in total. £46.5m spent. At least £63m bought in. A profit of £16.5m.

Pretty ropey figures when you consider we apparently had £100m to spend, and just 2 incoming players to a squad that finished 5th, 18 points behind the leaders. With 5 senior players gone and just two in, the squad is seemingly lighter than last season?

So what actually happened?

Wojciech Szczęsny left for Juventus. He was pretty much surplus to requirements and having spent 2 years on loan to Roma, did not really need replacing. However, I am disappointed we did not also let David Ospina go, and then sign a young goal keeper – such as Jordan Pickford – to compete with Petr Cech this season and replace him next Season. Emiliano Martinez went on loan to Getafe. I doubt it will be a chance to prove himself as Cech’s heir apparent.

Gabriel also went, which will not upset many. Whilst no replacement was signed, his departure has been offset by Calum Chambers returning from his loan deal. Whilst at one point this summer Arsenal were willing to accept bids for him, good performances for England in the U21 Euro’s – as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving has given him a lifeline. Hopefully in the Europa League he proves he can build a solid partnership with Rob Holding

Kieran Gibbs went. Good luck to him. He needs to resurrect his career. He is 27 now and needs to have a good few years. He plays week in week out for WBA, he might even make the England squad. He has certainly been upgraded on with Sead Kolašinac coming in on a free transfer. Once he finally starts playing regularly at left back, you will realise the improvement both going forward and in defence on our left hand side.

Out on loan went Lucas Pérez. Some will say he never got his chance, but he was clearly surplus to requirements. Especially as the incoming Alexandre Lacazette for £46.m from Lyon dramatically improves our forward line. Lacazette coming in as number one striker pushed Perez down to 5th choice striker (Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez), so he was always going to fall out the other end.

The last senior player to leave us was on transfer deadline day as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool. He was not replaced, but not many were upset to see him go. Ox had always flattered to deceive and the reality is, if we return to 4 at the back, he is 5th choice right back (behind Bellerin, Debuchy, Chambers & Mustafi) and 5th choice winger (Sanchez, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi). He only starts if we stick to 3 at the back.

Joel Campbell and Carl Jenkinson also went on loan. They will not be missed, nor will they need to be replaced.

The fact that the players who left have been replaced with better options (bar Oxlade-Chamberlain) is a positive. The starting XI and squad is undoubtedly better than last years with just the 2 signings and returning Chambers.

The problem is we did not improve in areas where players did not leave.

Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are still with the club. It would have been preferable if one dropped out, and we captured a first choice central midfielder such Jean-Michael Seri, who would have competed with Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka.

Likewise in defence, we could have improved on Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding, Mertesacker and Chambers. Had we got a senior, first choice centre back, one of the lower ones (or even Mustafi) could have been moved one.

And we failed with an extra attacking option. Thomas Lemar or Julian Draxler coming in would have been ideal, which in turn would have perhaps seen Theo Walcott move on.

I think the most disappointing thing of the window was we got some good business done early, but then everything else has fizzled out.

The club have tried to spin it that at least Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are still here when the reality is that they should be staying and we should have added more to them. Why did it have to be Lemar if Sanchez leaves, why not Lemar with Sanchez and Ozil.

All in all, it is like it is your birthday party. You get some nice presents from your mum and dad, but they never get you the pony.

Keenos
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Julian Draxler, Spurs and Gabriel

Julian Draxler

PSG are reportedly accepting bids for German international Julian Draxler.

With the Thomas Lemar deal now seemingly dead, or dying, Arsenal need to look elsewhere for reinforcements in the final third of the field.

Up front, we are set. In Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck ,Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, we have options, even after Lucas Perez departs. But behind that, we are struggling.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are both world class performers, there is no debate. But who is competing with them for attacking midfield spots?

The only other player we have who is a natural number 10 is Alex Iwobi.

We can also play Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla behind the striker, but none of these are ideal. We then have Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott who have done the job – badly – in pre-season.

Add in the contract situation of Sanchez and Ozil and you can see why Thomas Lemar was so aggressively target this summer.

I love Julian Draxler. I first spoke about his potential way back in October 2013 add my opinion on him has not changed.

If he is available for as little as £32m (in current prices), Arsenal need to ensure they are at the front of the queue.

Spurs

The gift that keeps giving. Some people say I blog about them too much, question why I am bothered, even say I am deflecting away from Arsenal’s problems, but when your nearest rivals are such a joke, it is impossible not to take notice.

Firstly we have the debacle over their temporary move to Wembley. They spent ages negotiating with Brent Council to allow them to use the stadium at its full capacity – 90,000 – only for the council to restrict ticket sales for major games to those that know the club.

For this weekends game against Chelsea, you could only buy a ticket if you had an interaction with the club since July 1st. Now what interaction means is unclear? Is it own a membership? Or is it bought a DVD from the club shop.

What is known is that they have only sold 70,000 tickets. This once more raises the question as to why they are building a 60,000+ stadium?

This is a side, remember, who had an attendance low of 24,712 against Gillingham in the League Cup last year. 26,463 was their low in 2015/16. They have a history of fans not showing up to games.

Of course, Spurs fans will come on this blog (they are drawn to it likes flies to a light) saying it is only the League Cup. Well Arsenal got hammered in the press back in 2011 for having only 46,539 turn up to a League Cup game against Shrewsbury. Whilst this is 15,000 below capacity, it is still more than 20,000 than Spurs got against Gillingham.

Stupid Spurs fans will say but Arsenal have a bigger stadium, so will get bigger attendances. This rationale would be correct if both sides sold out. But Spurs had 10,000 unsold tickets v Gillingham. So if they had a 60,000 seater stadium, the amount of tickets would not rise, just the amount of unsold.

I look forward to Burnley turning up to North West London. Tickets are on general sale. 20,000 Burnley fans in the home end. Hopefully Spurs get put in their place.

The second part of this mini blog is over the press love in with them. We all know the press love Spurs and gloss over their lack of success. It is because they are not a big club.

In one of today’s paper, the headline is;

SHREWD LEVY DUE A BREAK

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy Sure gets a lot of stick for having one of the most successful business models in football.

Well if the barometer of a successful football side is trophies, then the Spurs model clearly is not a success. 1 League Cup in 18 years. No FA Cup in 26 years. No league title in 56 years. I know Levy was not at Spurs for this entire period, but ENIC bought Spurs in 2001. 1 League Cup in that time is not a success.

It later go’s on to call Spurs One of the best sides in the Premier League. Under Daniel Levy’s stewardship, their every Premier League finish is 7th. They have finished below 8th 6 times in the 16 years of Enic. This against top 4 four times. A good two seasons does not make them one of the best in the league.

It seems Levy is being praised for turning a profit, selling his best players. And not for winning things. Well done Spurs for winning the best run club that never wins stuff trophy. It can go in the cabinet alongside your Put the Pressure On and finish Above Arsenal Once Cups.

Gabriel

Thanks for the memories. It never quite worked out. You never really adapted to English football. You still can not speak a word of English. Good luck in the future. Enjoy your 2 FA Cup winners medals. It is more than what other players win in their career. It is more than Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

You did not work out, but you were certainly not a flop. Hopefully we see you stick one on Diego Costa in La Liga in the new year.

Keenos

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.

Keenos