Tag Archives: hector bellerin

Nearly every Arsenal player “up for sale”

Hector Bellerin is Arsenal’s best right back.

He is amongst the best full backs in Europe, which is highlighted by the fact that Champions League finalists PSG are in pole position for him, with Bayern Munich and Juventus sniffing behind.

You do not gain that quality of suitors if you are a poor player.

Mikel Arteta rates Bellerin. He likes him as a player and as a person. He would not want to lose him. But sometimes circumstance contrive and an exit you do not really want to happen, happens.

What the Hector Bellerin situation shows is what we knew earlier this season. That nearly every Arsenal player has their price, and would be up for sale if that price is met.

Excluding new signings (including Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Willian Saliba), there are only 5 unsellable players in the Arsenal squad:

Kieran Tierney
Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang
Nicolas Pepe
Bukayo Saka
Gabriel Martinelli

Outside of those 5, Arsenal have been willing to listen to offers for any other player this summer. Including Hector Bellerin.

Whilst Bellerin is a top right back, he can be improved on. And eve if we decide to go with Cedric Soares and Aisnley Maitland-Niles as the options at right back, he raises key funds to improve the side in positions that are more influential than right back.

The news about Bellerin was accompanied by pundits saying “for the right price” and like with many other Arsenal players, it will come down to money.

“The right price” at the moment seems to be whatever cash is still needed to fund moves for Thomas Partey and / or Houssem Aouar. That pair would cost the club around £90million.

The Arsenal XI would be weaker with Maitland-Niles at right back over Bellerin. But would be stronger with Partey in a midfield 3 alongside Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos.

Arteta then needs to decide whether signing Partey strengthens the team more than selling Bellerin weakens it. I feel the answer is yes.

Looking forward to a team without Bellerin, Arsenal would probably be relying on Maitland-Niles as first choice right back. He is suspect defensively.

Maitland-Niles is more sorted to the 343 that Arteta has played recently.

If Mikel sticks to that formation, Maitland-Niles will be an upgrade on Bellerin at right wing back, due to his superior attacking.

However if Partey joins, Arteta will likely switch to 433. That will put pressure on Maitland-Niles defensively.

However a midfield 3 rather than a 2 (in a 4231) will provide Maitland-Niles with extra cover in defence.

The right hand side of that midfield 3 (likely to be Partey) plays a bit wider than they would in a midfield 2. This allows them to drift wide to help out the full defensively, knowing they still have their 2 midfield team mates inside.

Partey would provide Mialtnad-Niles with extra defensive assistance.

Liverpool won the league with a right back that can not defend in Trent Alexander-Arnold.

They did this by overloading their right hand side with attacking play, and having Jordan Henderson drift right to cover the full-back.

Teams would be reluctant to attack Liverpool knowing that they had Mo Salah and Alexander-Arnold coming the other way. And when they did attack they often found Henderson or Fabinho as an extra man on the right hand side.

So at Arsenal in a 433, Arsenal would overload the right hand side with Pepe and Maitland-Niles as an attacking double act. And then would have Partey drift across to to reinforce the flank defensively.

In games where we might want extra defensive cover, the option would be there to play Cedric Soares instead of Maitland-Niles.

We will only be able to truly judge the squad Arteta is building once the window is shut.

Arsenal will have to sell a few popular players – the likes of Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Rob Holding – to finance improving the squad over all.

Looking forward to 2020/21, if we sold Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Torreira, Lacazette& Chambers, whilst gained Cedric, Gabriel, Saliba, Mari, Partey, Aouar and Willian, the first XI and squad will undoubtedly be stronger than 2019/20.

You need to break a few eggs to make an omelete.



David Luiz and Willian audition for Brazilian Eastenders

Well what a busy start to the week we have had over at The Arsenal.

On Monday, the news broke fairly late in the day that the deal taking Henrik Mihitaryan to Roma was finally confirmed.

This got us thinking about COVID19 clauses in contracts and if it was a part of the agreement between Arsenal and Lille that Gabriel would have to undergo testing and quarantine prior to the transfer being completed.

On Tuesday our suspicions were confirmed as Arsenal announced the signing of Gabriel on a cute little Zoom call alongside David Luiz and Willian. This was a day after Gabriel had been at the training ground to join the squad in the bi-weekly club COVID19 test.

The announcement was quite a novel way to announce a player.

A live call between David Luiz and Willian on YouTube. They had a little chat about Willian, and then went on to discussing Gabriel. A decision was then made to call him and there he was, in his Arsenal training gear.

Luiz and Willian certainly have a post playing career in Brazilian EastEnders, playing hairy, South American Mitchell brothers.

And I guess that would make Gabriel Billy Mitchell?

On the video call, David Luiz’s importance to Mikel Arteta came across.

He is now in the role of “Father of the Squad” as one of the oldest and most experienced. It will be his job to help the young players such as Gabriel and William Saliba settle. It is a role he seems to have fitted into nicely.

Prior to the Gabriel announcement was the news that Ken Friar is to step down from the board to become Arsenal’s Life President.

Ken Friar is a lifelong Arsenal employee, whose story is immortalised on the North Bridge:

One day in 1945, a young Ken Friar was playing football with friends in front of Arsenal Football Club’s Highbury Stadium.

A miskick saw the ball disappear underneath a parked car. As Ken Friar hesitantly went to retrieve the ball, the car’s owner appeared from the famous Highbury marble halls, it was none other than the manager of Arsenal, George Allison.

Allison was impressed with young Friar’s enthusiasm and told him to make himself useful by reporting to his office the next day, whereupon the 12 year-old was offered a job as a messenger at the stadium on matchdays.

From that day on, Mr Friar became a loyal servant to Arsenal Football Club.

in 1950, Mr Friar started working full-time in the matchday ticket office. Through years of hard work and dedication, he was the club Secretary, Managing Director, and also a leader in Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the new stadium.

At the forefront in driving Arsenal Football Club to success for over 60 years.

For that lifetime of dedication, we thank you Mr Friar.

It was sad to see some “fans” abusing Mr Friar in the Tweet announcing his retirement. So called Arsenal fans have also taken to abuse the clubs social media manager for the Gabriel announcement being “delayed”. in the past we have also seen “fans” abuse club photographers, club legends and more recently, the daughter of Geordie Armstrong.

These people are not fans. They are hangers on. They are something nasty you step in occasionally. For some reason they associate themselves with Arsenal and their behaviour is disgusting.

The majority of these fans seem to be Tweeting from abroad. None of them have ever been to a game.

All true Arsenal fans will know and thank Ken Friar OBE for his work for the club over the last 75 years. They will understand those working for the club are just employees and do not deserve abuse. It is vile, and these people need to look at themselves.

Following the Gabriel announcement came some news about an outgoing. Not Sokratis to Napoli but Hector Bellerin to PSG.

It was interesting to watch it unfold on Twitter.

One Journalist broke the news, and then the likes of David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano jumped on it as if they were breaking it, to keep up the pretence that they actually know what is happening at The Arsenal.

I will probably dedicate more time to discussing Bellerin later in the week.

He has been a fantastic servant to the club for nearly 10 years, and worn the shirt with honour and dignity. If he and the club decide it is time for Bellerin to start a new journey, then so be it.

Enjoy your Thursday.


Gabriel, Adidas, Ceballos, Bellerin and More

Still nothing happening over The Arsenal.

The Gabriel deal seems to be dragging on with reports now that Man U interested.

It does feel like the player (or his representatives) are playing the game to maximise his salary. But it might just be the deal with Arsenal is done but not announced, and the press are just trying to fill column inches.

Gabriel would be the final piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal continue to reshape the defence over the last 12 months.

We had the official swat kit release yesterday. It is awful.

I wouldn’t have bought it anyway, but I feel insulted that Adidas have tried to say the design is inspired by Highbury’s marble halls. It isn’t.

Fact is, Adidas missed an open goal by not having a 50th anniversary 1971 double celebration kit. A simple Yellow with blue trim would have flown off the shelves.

Just show these graphic designers do not really have a clue about the history of what they are designing.

Hector Bellerin was pictured smoking. Who cares?

Then we have Dani Ceballos who wished Joe Willock a “Happy Birthday” and added “see your soon”. Was that a hint?

Finally, Community Shield is a little over a week away. Crazy really!