Tag Archives: Serge Gnabry

Serge Gnabry v Reiss Nelson

Last night Serge Gnabry played well for Bayern Munich against Liverpool. This led to the usual rubbish on Twitter every time Gnabry has a good game that is on the tele. Arsenal fans moaning that we should never have let him go.

Let me nip that in the bud.

Arsenal did not let Gnabry go, Gnabry decided to go.

For those who conveniently forget the truth so that they have an excuse to bash the club, let us have a quick recap.

At 18-years-old, Gnabry was playing in his first full of senior football. He played over 460 minutes of Premier League football in the 2014/15 season, finding himself competing with a teenage Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for minutes behind Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.

He then got injured in March 2014.

He was out for well over a year as Arsenal took their time getting him back to fitness. The club playing the long game, not rushing him back.

In 2015, the club decided to loan him out. He had not played for 18 months and was in need for regular first team football. Arsenal could not give him that week in week out, the hope was WBA would.

He played just 12 minutes of football under Tony Pullis.

So in 2016, he had played 12 minutes of football in 2 and a half years. Arsenal offered him a new contract, but wanted to send him out on loan again, somewhere where he would play. The club knew he needed that game time, and he would return a much better player.

Gnabry turned down the contract as he did not want to go on loan, this in turn forced the club to accept a transfer offer from Werder Breman.

After a year at Breman Gnabry forced through a transfer to Bayern Munich who immediately loaned him out to Hoffenheim.

The fact that in 2017 Munich felt he was not ready to compete for a place in their first time highlights that Arsenal’s decision a year previous was correct.

It took Gnabry two seasons (1 at Breman, 1 at Hoffenheim) to be ready to be a regular member of Bayern Munich’s first team – although this season he has still not been a first team regular for the German giants; starting just 12 of 22 Bundesliga games.

Arsenal’s only big mistake was loaning Gnabry to WBA, where he did not play. And it is something that we have since learned from

Back in 2015, loan moves abroad where not en-vogue in the Premier League; unless you played for Chelsea and got loaned to Vitesse Arnhem.

The Premier League was perhaps a little bit too arrogant and feeling of superiority. That no other league in the world was like it. With its high pace and physical nature. The feeling was young players should be loaned to lower Premier League sides or Championship sides so that they could get used to the physicality of playing with men.

In hindsight, this was wrong, and led to many young skilful players being kicked out of the game. They just did not have a chance to develop their skills.

Clubs like WBA would shun young exciting players who might lose the ball often, but would also win games on their own. Instead they chose journeymen, basic footballers who would make few mistakes. They would line up to not lose games instead of lining up to win them. Preservation was their priority.

Premier League clubs have seemingly learnt that it is better to send out young players, who are slight, skilful and quick, to a league which would promote their talent, not stifle them.

That is why Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund instead of staying in the Premier League. And why the likes of Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Ademola Lookman have all spent time in Germany.

Nelson was in a similar position to Gnabry was at Arsenal. In need of game time but was unable to get enough whilst at the club.

In 2015 we sent Gnabry to WBA, in 2018 we sent Nelson to Hoffenheim.

Interestingly Hoffenheim was where Bayern Munich sent Gnabry when they felt he was still not ready for first team football.

If sending players to Germany was popular back in 2015; I am sure Arsenal would have considered sending Gnabry on loan back to his home country – even on loan to Werder Breman.

In 2016 he would have had a full season under his belt, a 2-years left on his contract, and would have gone on to play 30+ games in Arsenal in 2016/17. Instead we lost him.

What is interesting is that at the age of 19, Nelson and Gnabry had the same situation facing them.

Both were 19-years-old
Both had one year left on their contract with Arsenal
Both had a contract offer on the table
Both were told that the plan was to send them out on loan for a season

Nelson signed, Gnabry didn’t. and the rest is history.

Keenos

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The Curious Case of Serge Gnabry

Serge Gnabry will always feel like one that got away.

An extremely talented youth, he decided against renewing his contract with Arsenal back in 2016, instead returning to Germany to sign for Werder Breman.

You have to delve deep to discover what actually happened with Gnbary at Arsenal, and what led to him leaving the club that he agreed to join at 15.

Having agreed to join Arsenal in 2010 in a £100,000 deal from home town club former club VfB Stuttgart, Gnabry officially joined Arsenal for the 2011–12 season.

He played for the under-18s for the majority of the season but was then promoted to the reserves after impressive displays.

That summer he was promoted to Arsenal’s first team squad, joining the senior professionals at pre-season; playing for the Arsenal first team for a against FC Köln.

He then made his professional first-team debut for Arsenal at 17-years-old on 26 September 2012 against Coventry City in the League Cup as a 72nd-minute substitute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Arsenal routed Coventry 6–1.

Less than a month later he made his Premier League debut in the 1–0 defeat against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

At 17 years and 98 days, he became Arsenal’s second-youngest player in the league’s history after Jack Wilshere. Four days later, he made his Champions League debut, coming on as a substitute in Arsenal’s 2–0 home loss to FC Schalke 04.

It certainly felt like a star was born as he spent the rest of the season jumping between U19’s and reserves whilst appearing a few times on the bench.

In the first game of the 2013–14 season, Gnabry was included in Arsenal’s first-team squad against Aston Villa and started the game on the bench. He then made his first start for the club on 22 September 2013 in the Premier League against Stoke City after Theo Walcott was ruled out just before kick-off.  He played 73 minutes before being subbed out for Ryo Miyaichi as Arsenal won the match 3–1.

He scored his first professional goal in the next league match against Swansea City to lead Arsenal to a 2–1 victory and leave them top of the Premier League table. On 26 October, he won a penalty away at Crystal Palace in an eventual 2–0 victory for Arsenal.

Gnabry’s impressive start to the season resulted in a nomination for the 2013 Golden Boy Award, and a new five-year contract with Arsenal. He was still just 18.

It was at the beginning of the 2014 season that things started to go downhill for the German.

2014/15 really should have been the breakthrough year for the teenager. The year he went bit-part player to getting some proper game time at Arsenal. Instead it was the beginning of a hellish period for him as he picked up a serious knee injury which would keep him away from first team action for over a year, and he would never be seen playing for Arsenal’s first team again.

Having got himself to full fitness, it joined West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan in August 2015. The idea being that he would get game time, prove his worth, and return to Arsenal  at the beginning of 2016 as a Premier League-ready player.

Instead Tony Pulis ruined him, not playing him as he was not a centre back. In January 2016, he was recalled from his loan after lacking first-team action at West Brom, but Arsenal were unable to play him.

With a year left on his contract, there was a new deal on the table, but having played just 12 minutes of Premier League football in 2 years, Arsenal wanted to send him out on loan once more. Gnabry refused the new deal and pushed through a transfer to Werder Breman.

He would only stay at the club for a single season, making 27 league appearances scoring 11 goals while Werder Bremen finished 8th in the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich then came in for him, signing Gnabry on a three-year deal for €8 million after activating a clause in his contract with Werder Bremen.

At this point, a lot of Arsenal fans begun pointing fingers. Not good enough for Arsenal but good enough for Bayern Munich they cried.

It would be justifiable if Arsenal had not offered him a new contract. They did.

3 days after joining Bayern Munich, they announced Gnabry would be moving to 1899 Hoffenheim on a season-long loan.

This is where it gets a bit confusing.

Gnabry left Arsenal for first team football because he did not want to go out on loan. 12 months after leaving, he was once again at a big club, and once again sent on loan. In an interview, Gnabry declared he decided to go out on loan to “gain more experience”.

And it is at this point I wonder if he regretted leaving Arsenal.

When you look at the minutes Alex Iwobi played last season – 1844 in the Premier League – these would have gone to Gnabry if he was at the club.

Taking into account what happened with Alexis Sanchez, Gnabry would be going into this season fighting Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil for a starting place.

Instead he has spent a season on loan in Germany, and is now a member of Bayern Munich’s fringe squad, having finally been given a shirt number this summer. it will be itneresting to see how much game time he actually gets.

In a years time Gnabry will only have a 12 months left on his contract. He will be just 23 and considered as “home grown” in England.

Arsenal could do a lot worse than reuniting with their former prodigy in 2019.

Keenos

England, Serge Gnabry, Mike Dean, Nabil Fekir & Spurs

England

I went out to France to watch England v Wales in the Lille fan park with tens of thousands other Englishmen. The majority of people I spoke to did not particularly like the English national team. Boring, predictable, overpaid failures, was the general consensus.

But we travelled out there in our thousands. It was out of national pride, national loyalty, rather than to support the team, that we all travelled.

England games bore me. I have no real interest in them. The Wembley crowd is a joke, and as poor as the fans.

I did not watch the England v Germany game. We drew 0-0, and the headlines were hilarious.

The bar for England is set so low that we see a draw as a victory. It is all a bit Spursy. Celebrating draws like they are wins. Celebrating a fake progression. Getting excited when we have won nothing.

It probably is not a surprise that England consistently fail when it has so many Spurs (and Liverpool) players in the squad.

I remember back 20 years ago, having players in the England squad, and more than your rivals, was something to be proud of. These days it is pointless, especially as England are so poor.

If the likes of 25-year-old Jesse Lindgard is seen as part of the future of England, I can do without.

Tonight we play Brazil. I have little to no interest.

Serge Gnabry

I remember when Bayern Munich signed Serge Gnabry, a lot of fans got their knickers in a twist. As if Bayern Munich signing him showed Arsene Wenger had made a mistake in selling the German youngster to Werder Breman.

At the time of him joining Munich I questioned his intentions.

He left Arsenal for 1st team football, but then leaves Breman, who he was playing for week in, week out, for Bayern Munich. If he was not good enough for Arsenal 12 months previous, it is unlikely he would suddenly be better than Ribery, Robben, Thiago, etc.

At the time, I predicted that Gnabry was signed because Munich did not want an opponent to sign him, and wanted to control who he plays for – and against. That they have a history of doing this with other young, talented players in Germany.

Low-and-behold, Munich loaned out the 22-year-old to Hoffenheim.

Gnabry picked up an injury in just his 2nd game and has been out injured since.

Taking into account he missed a year shortly after making his Arsenal debut, and missed 6 weeks of football last season, another 3 months at the beginning of this season is clearly a worrying trend.

My view of Gnabry at Bayern Munich remains the same as it did when he joined them. I would be very surprised if he ever actually plays a game of any note for the German giants.

Mike Dean

The referee for the Arsenal v Spurs game is Mike Dean. Predictably, this made Arsenal Twitter explode in fear and anger.

I wonder if any other sides fans care about referees as much as Arsenal fans?

There was a time when Arsenal had won just 3 out of 22 games over a 5 year period that Mike Dean had taken charge for. A poor record, but nothing to blame the referee on.

In the 16 games since that run, Arsenal’s record with Mike Dean in charge is remarkably better, just the 2 defeats away to Chelsea and at home to Manchester United in those 16 games.

Our results against top teams with Mike Dean in charge recently has seen fairly standard results…

We should be beating small sides like Spurs no matter who is in refereeing.

Nabil Fekir

Don’t know, don’t care, but as the shops have their Christmas decorations out, it must be that time of year when the newspapers publish millions of columns of click bait to top up that advertising revenue.

Spurs love in

I will never understand Arsenal fans who put Spurs on a pedestal.

They have won 2 League Cups in 27 years. Finished above Arsenal once in 22 years. Yet some Arsenal fans act like they are the resurrection. The next coming of Jesus Christ. That one year finishing above Arsenal makes them superior.

I read people all over social media moaning that 3 FA Cups in 4 seasons is “not good enough”, “not acceptable.” They demand we “be more like Spurs.”

So what you want is for us to not win any trophies, yet finish top 4?

You probably spent the time between 2005 – 2014 moaning that top 4 meant nothing and we should be focusing on winning trophies.

In recent years, we have won trophies, whilst Spurs are celebrated for “progression” and “putting the pressure on”.

Would I take Arsenal’s last 10 years over Spurs last 10 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last 5 years over Spurs last 5 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last 3 years over Spurs last 3 years? Yes.
Would I take Arsenal’s last year over Spurs last year? Yes.

No matter which period you look at, whether it be 10, 5, 3 or 1, Arsenal have been more successful than Spurs. We have won trophies.

I would not trade the last 1 / 3 / 5 / 10 years of Arsenal’s “success” for what Spurs have(not) achieved in the same period.

As for the so called Arsenal fans who want the team to lose to spurs this weekend, you can get in the bin.

Keenos