Tag Archives: nacho monreal

Nacho Monreal and the FAKE NEWS of his terminated contract

Long term followers of this blog will know how much we hate Fake News, Twitter ITK’s and media outlets (both blogs and MSM) that generate transfer news for hits, clicks and ad revenue.

The recent news about Nacho Monreal having his “contract terminated” shows how easy it is to get Fake News into the mainstream.

At 16:50 yesterday, The Sun published an article about how Nacho Monreal’s contract had been “terminated” as Arsenal were looking to shave money off their wage bill to make space for Kieran Tierney.

Straight away alarm bells were ringing.

Monreal’s contract was due to expire at the end of last month. There had ben reported that he had signed a 1 year extension but nothing was officially announced.

What we do know is on the last day of the season, we said goodbye to Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey, but not Monreal. Indicating he had a new contract. The Spaniard also did not appear on the list of released players.

This all pointed to Monreal signing his new one year deal. It was then baffling that Arsenal would terminate his contract.

Had Arsenal terminated the contract, they would have had to have paid its value up in full – around £3.3million. This makes no sense. They would be better off letting him know that he could join another club on a free transfer.

Terminating Monreal’s contract would not see Arsenal lower their costs as they would have to pay that contract off.

The more realistic story is that it will be Saed Kolasinac sold with Tierney replacing the Bosnian. This will generate a bigger fee and further reduce the wage bill.

At this point both The Sun and The Daily Record (in Scotland) were running this story of Monreal having had his contract terminated. They both quoted the same source – NBC journalist Gerry Stuart.

Why would an American journalist have the inside scope on things happening at Arsenal?

A Google of his name along with NBC fails to bring up a single article written by Gerry Stuart. Not for NBC or any other media outlet. Does he even exist?

Back to The Sun’s story and they have a link to their source. It forwards you to Gerry Stuart’s Twitter account where he broke the news; and where he has also broken the news that Alexandre Lacazette has signed a new contract.

But then it does not take you to Gerry Stuart’s Twitter Account. Instead we see this:

So this NBC journalist who is breaking news about Arsenal on his Twitter account has his Twitter account suspended.

This brings you to the only possible conclusion. That it was someone pretending to be a journalist for attention.

The Monreal situation highlights how easy it is to spread Fake News.

The Sun, The Daily Record and others failed to verify the source of the news, they failed to check with any of their own sources. Instead they wend ahead and published the news.

Fake News is not just a football problem – although football has suffered from it for decades. It is now more important for media outlets to be fast rather than truthful when publishing news. Get the article up, fact check it later.

Off the back off The Sun’s story, blogs and Twitter accounts ran with it. Fuelling the fire further. Yet there was no factual basis for the story.

One of the AFTV “vloggers” filmed himself for 31 minutes for a video titled “Has Monreal Agreed To Terminate His Contract?”

It was literally someone making it up.

So let this be a lesson to everyone. Do not believe everything you read. Do Your Own Research. And just because loads of people are saying it on Twitter, it does not make it true.



What does Nacho Monreal’s contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

Arsenal have (reportedly at the time of writing) taken up the option of extending Nacho Monreal’s contract by a further year.

The Spanish international joined the club On 31 January 2013 for a fee believed to be around £8.5 million. In the 6 years he has been at the club, he has proved to be a very good signing, and has consistently been in the top 3 or 4 left backs in the league.

In recent years, he has also shown his worth on the left side of a back 3. Something which Unai emery might consider if he continues to play with 3 at the back.

Monreal turns 33 in February, so his career is coming to an end. However he has never been blessed with electric pace – relying on good positioning in defence and smart movement and solid crossing in attack. There is certainly still another 18 months in himat the top level.

But what does the contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

The Bosnian clearly can not play in a back 4.

Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger before him have changed from a back 4 to a back 3 to accommodate Kolasinac. This is not a long term solution as defences rely on continuity. Both of personnel and system.

This summer Arsenal need to go out and buy another left back. A younger player who can be Monreal’s long term replacement. Ideally already good enough to play ahead of the Spaniard next season. Monreal then acts as back up / cover for his younger team mate.

This leave Kolasinac in a position where, at left back at least, he is surplus to requirements.

So what are Arsenal’s options?

Cash in

We have spoken before about Arsenal selling poorly. Arsenal would easily command a fee in excess of £20 million if they sold Kolasinac. Many clubs both at home and abroad would pay that for him.

If he is not a long term solution, cash in over the summer and reinvest those funds. Monreal is then cover and competition for the new left back, then in 2020 we can explore signing someone to replace Monreal as that cover (or promote from within).

The likes of Ben Chilwell, Ferland Mendy or Kieran Tierney for under £30m. Cashing in on Kolasinac would fund almost all of the transfer fee of a new left back.

Moving him forward

Kolasinac is dangerous in the final third. He is able to muscle his way to the bye-line and get quality crosses in. He has been one of Arsenal most creative players this season.

There is an argument that you can buy a new left back, keep Monreal for a year, and keep Kolasinac as a winger.

Getting forward from the wing is different from left-back, however.

He often makes runs from deep, into space that has been created by his winger (usually Alex Iwobi) dropping inside. When he starts further up the pitch, he has less space to get up to speed in, and would have less space to operate as the opposing full-back would follow him instead the winger.

is left footed and would hug the touchline. He would not be ideal as a regular starter wide left, but he would give Arsenal an attacking option off the bench.

Another option would be if we are chasing the game, to take off the left-back and put Kolasinac on. Sacrificing for the defence for someone who can get forward more and provide quality.

Likewise when defending a lead, he could be bought on to provide further cover for the left back, whilst still offering a threat going forward.

You often saw Arsenal do this in the past when they had Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna.

Moving forward, Kolasinac would also then double up as the cover for the full back when Monreal leaves.

By renewing Monreal’s contract for a further year, it gives us plenty of options in the summer. Keep Kolasinac. Sell Kolasinac. Use him as a winger. Use Monreal on the left of a back 3.

What is for sure is that we need to buy a long term left back option.


9 went, just ONE remains

EIGHT  Arsenal players were selected to go to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This increased to 9 once Arsenal announced a pre-contract agreement with Stephan Lichtsteiner. Of the 9, just one remains.

First to be knocked out was Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt.

With Mohamed Salah still crying over hurting his shoulder, Egypt finished bottom of their group as one of only 2 sides to fail to get a point – the other being Panama.

Alex Iwobi’s Nigeria still the hearts of millions with their popular kit, and would probably consider themselves unlucky to have been knocked out in the group stages.

In one of the toughest groups alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, they were looking like going through at Argentina’s expense until an 86th minute goal by Marcus Rojo destroyed the hopes of a nation; and at the same time the behaviour of Diego Maradona shaming a nation.

The coked up drug treat showing that he was not becoming classy with age by making offensive hand gestures towards Nigeria fans at the final whistle. And getting paid by FIFA to do so.

Mesut Ozil took the brunt of the blame for Germany’s group stage exit. The strong criticsm feels like it has a nasty undertone as Ozil was certainly not amongst the worst players for his national side.

Ozil is a little bit different. A Muslim of Turkish heritage. Whilst the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich escaped criticism, Ozil became a figure of hate within Germany. However Germany’s early exit could benefit Arsenal as there is talk that he could now retire from playing for his country.

Joel Campbell’s Costa Rica finished bottom of a tough group that contained Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. He set up a goal and one a penalty in their final game, but he and his country failed to hit the high notes that they did 4 years ago.

Spain would have been delighted with their last 16 knock out game tie against lowest ranked (and hosts) Russia. They lost on penalties, sending Nacho Monreal home. The Spaniard has basically had a 2 weeks holiday in Russia as he failed to play a game.

Another surprising result, although not as severe, was Switzerland losing 1-0 to Sweden sending home Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

In the final game of the last 16, England knocked out Colombia on penalties.

Keeper David Ospina could have been the hero, saving from Jordan Henderson. But two missed penalties from Colombia and then Ospina’s weak wrists saw the South American side get knocked out, upsetting that coke head Maradona.

England and Welbeck were through, Colombia out.

With pre-season training already beginning, Arsenal have a strong 16 players already back at London Colney preparing for the new season.

The early exits by some  means that the likes of Mesut Ozil could well return for the first game of the season against Manchester City.

Is the ideal final England v Uruguay? 0-0 when Lucas Torreira breaks Harry Kanes face, Welbeck comes on, scores, England win 1-0.

It’s coming home guys, it’s coming home.