Tag Archives: Julian Draxler

Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Arsenal’s Defensive Crisis & More

So a week or so without blogging has done me well. I feel refreshed, I have learnt some new words, and I have actually got some proper work done. But I am back, and I thought a good way to start off would be a recap of stuff that I would have blogged on in the last few weeks…

Mesut Ozil & Alexis Sanchez

Speculation is increasing that both will leave on a free in the summer. I would have dumped them both last summer and got in some replacements. My opinion is the same for January. Take what we can, and get in some replacements (Thomas Lemar and Julian Draxler still getting talked about).

Harry Winks

Who? Was what I asked when he got called up for England.

It turns out he plays for Spurs, and has started 4 Premier League games in his career. Good job devaluing the shirt Gareth. Still baffles me as to how Theo Walcott fails to make the England squad whilst the links of Jesse Lingard and this Winks fella get in.

THAT Spurs Book

White Hart Lane: The Spurs Glory Years 1899-2017

  • 2 League titles
  • 8 FA Cups

Arsene Wenger: We Want You to Stay 1996-2017

  • 3 League titles
  • 7 FA Cups

Spurs really are a deluded bunch.

“Super Clubs”

A lot has been written in recent years about Super Clubs. The likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. A lot of what has been written is positive, blue prints on how they got to where they are, and how others should attain to get there.

Whilst the likes of the 4 previously mentioned sides, alongside the likes of Juventus. Inter and AC Milan are at the top of the footballing hierarchy, the life of a football club is cyclical, and just because you eat from the top table, does not mean you will not have your struggles.

Man U, for example, have not been the same since Sir Alex Ferguson left. The other British Super Club, Liverpool, are 26 years without a title.

Bayern Munich, after years of everyone saying this is how you run a club seem to be intent in ripping themselves apart through internal politics. Whilst the famed Barcelona La Masia academy seems to be no longer producing world superstars.

Real Madrid sit 7 points off top and have won just 2 league titles in 10 years.

The two Milan clubs have also struggled since Juventus returned from the match fixing scandal.

These are all great clubs. They have the history, the success, the European trophies. Yet they are like every other club, they have good periods and bad periods.

Arsenal are not at that top table. We have never been, and whilst we wish we were at the top, the fact is we are the level below.

Every clubs have their troubles, no matter if they are a super club, the one we should all dream to become, the one which we all try and copy. No one is immune from a poor period, a period of turmoil.

Sean Dyche for Arsenal

So Ian Wright said Sean Dyche could be the next Arsenal manager. Whilst I agree that Arsenal legends should not be abused for their view, they are not free from criticism. And this view point is just a little bit silly from Ian Wright.

I have seen some fans backing him. “Anyone but that c**T Wenger” I saw one Facebook post from an admin of a page with 25,000 people. This is just stupidity.

The majority of us believe that Arsene Wenger’s time is over, but it should not be anyone but Wenger. This is just stupid.

When Wenger does go, we need to get an elite manager. A proven winner. Do not let your agenda lead you down a path of anyone but Wenger.

Jack Wilshere

After two poor England performances, where the side lacked creativity, plenty are calling for Jack Wilshere to be rushed back into the first team.

We all know that Wilshere is England’s best central midfielder, and if fit, starts. But let’s not rush him.

I would not play him in any international friendly until the World Cup preparation starts at the end of the season. Concentrate on letting him get fit, and stay fit. The 2 weeks off every few weeks will do him the world of good. Then at the World Cup, he will (hopefully) be fit and ready to go.

What is the point in playing him in meaningless friendlies?

Defensive Crisis

So Shkodran Mustafi pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem for Germany against Azerbaijan. It has also been reported as a thigh strain.

With Laurent Koscielny plagued once more by his troublesome achilles, it is being reported that Arsenal face a defensive crisis ahead of the game against Watford.

The usual moaners are complaining that we did not buy a centre back in the summer.

If the above two are out, it still leaves us with Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal as the back 3. That is the same back 3 that won us the FA Cup Final. And we still have Calum Chambers in reserve.

I would not be surprised if Koscielny is fit to start on Saturday. His withdrawal from the French squad is more of a precaution.

But if he is out, we are certainly not in a defensive crisis.

The International Break

Mixed results for Arsenal players, as Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Alexandre Lacazette helped their countries qualify.

Meanwhile Aaron Ramsey Wales and Sead Kolasinac’s Serbia just missed out on a play off.

I did smile when I read the moody dog shagger Alexis Sanchez will not be at the World Cup. Call me petty, but whilst he (and Mesut Ozil) want out of Arsenal, I want as little success for the pair as possible – unless it is in an Arsenal shirt.

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 set for busy end to transfer window

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The transfer window will slam shut on Wednesday at 11.30pm. Less than 60 hours to go. And in that 60 hours, Arsenal still have a lot of work to do.

Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez

The deals are all but done for Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez. Fees agreed, contracts signed, medicals reportedly completed. All we are waiting for his the FA to reopen Tuesday morning so that we can send across the official paperwork, and the deal is then signed, sealed and completed.

I would imagine as I am writing this, both players are at London Colney and/or the stadium getting their promo photos done. Arsenal might even announce both deals today before they have been full ratified by the FA.

Mustafi has been called up for Germany’s friendly game against Finland on 31 August 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Norway on 4 September 2016. Perez unsurprisingly not selected for Spain.

Both Mustafi and Perez will be able to use the international break in different ways to gain full match sharpness and be ready for the home game against Southampton on September 10th.

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Defenders Loaned Out

The exit door could be very busy at London Colney over the next 60 hours with numerous players slated to be loaned out.

Arsenal are ready to allow Mathieu Debuchy to depart the club. Most likely on a season-long loan. A reported calf injury could hamper the deal, but a club will likely take a gamble and get the French international in. His destination likely to be somewhere in Turkey, or the mid-lower reaches of Italy’s Serie A.Mathieu+Debuchy+Calum+Chambers+Manchester+a7sYRe78Nyrl

Also exiting will be Calum Chambers. Since his breakthrough 2 seasons ago, he has struggled to nail a place in the team, mainly down to lack of playing time. He needs to go somewhere in the Premier League and play a season at centreback. We will want him to go somewhere where he will be guaranteed to play every game. Hull and Middlesbrough seem like the front runners.

Letting both go would leave Arsenal with just one recognised right back whilst Carl Jenkinson recovers from his injury, but Mustafi has played at right back before for both club and country. I would also imagine a deal for Chambers would involve a recall clause.

Major Exit?

Could we see Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave the club over the next few days?

Serge Gnabry

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The next out of the door could be Serge Gnabry. Top scorer for Germany at the Olympics, he was in impressive form. But is there a place for him at Arsenal?

With Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi & new boy Lucas Perez ahead of him, he will struggle for game time.

One thing Arsenal have to take into account is his contract. It expires at the end of this season. the club would probably prefer a loan deal for the barley-21 German star, but that would open the risk of losing him for nothing at the end of the season if we do not tie him down to a new contract.

Arsenal might be willing to cut their losses with Gnabry and sell for a cut price deal.

He will end up in Germany, whether on loan or a permanent deal.

David Ospina

I began writing this thinking we might see David Ospina make the surprise move to Barcelona to provide competition for Marc-André ter Stegen, replacing Claudio Bravo. But they have already secured Jasper Cillessen. That door is now closed, but it would not surprise me if someone came in for a late bid for the Colombian, with the offer of first team football.

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Minor Loan Deals

The likes of Yaya Sanogo, Chuba Akpom and Jeff Reine-Adelaide could well see themselves also exit the club in loan deals.

With the changes to the loan system coming into place, we can not think that we will keep Akpom and The Jeff to play against Nottingham Forest before loaning them out. A decision will have to be made on them in the coming days.

As for Sanogo, any loan deal will be an option, or we might just put him down and turn him into glue.

theo-walcott-chuba-akpom-jeff-reine-adelaide_3330107

 

Late Madness

It has been the slogan of our summer after a Twitter ITK tweeted that Arsenal were going to do a madness.

So far the predictions that we would smash our transfer record has not happened, but you feel that if all the domino’s fall into place, we could see one more final transfer on the last day of the season.

Could Arsenal take advantage of Daniel Sturridge’s unhappiness under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool? Or a move for long term linked Antoine Griezmann or Julian Draxler? Or maybe a big money move for James Rodgriguez or Isco? Or will Dimitri Payet become Arsene Wengers man?

We have the money there, we could still make a late move for someone.

Keenos

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