Tag Archives: Serge Gnabry

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

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Serge Gnabry joins Bayern Munich – Why did Arsenal let him leave?

Former Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry has joined Bayern Munich, and valid points are being made by many Arsenal fans.

Just why did we let him go? Why have we not re-signed him? Is this Arsene Wenger’s Pogba moment? Well to have a proper discussion on the matter, we need to look at the full picture.

Why did Serge Gnabry leave Arsenal?

The key question in the Segre Gnabry scenario is just why did Arsenal let him join Werder Bremen? For your answer, you have to roll back not to last summer when he left The Gunners, but to 2014.

March 2014, Gnabry picked up a knee injury against, ironically, Bayern Munich. Arsenal took their time rehabilitating the then 18 year old. The injury ruled him out for pretty much an entire year as the clubs medical staff rebuilt his knee.

That meant 2014/15 was a write off for the youngster. It was supposed to be his break through season. Instead he spent it in rehabilitation. Ensuring that the knee injury would not plague him throughout his career.

By the time 2015/16 came around, Gnabry was fit and ready to go, but he lacked match practise. He needed game time. So a decision was made to loan him out to WBA for the season. He was just 20 so a year playing Premier League football for a mid table Premier League team would see him come back to Arsenal stronger, fitter, and ready to continue his career.

What followed was a year of frustration for Gnabry. For some reason, having bought Gnabry in on loan,Tony Pulis gave Gnabry just 12 minutes of Premier League football. The loan deal was a complete and utter failure.

Upon returning to Arsenal, Gnabry was in a position where he had played no football for 2 years, was coming up to his 21st birthday, and had a single year left on his contract.

Gnabry was offered a new deal but, having barely played for 2 years, he wanted assurances of first team football.

It was impossible for Arsene Wenger to guarantee first team football to Gnabry with him having Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of him in the pecking order. Add in a returning Danny Welbeck and up and coming Alex Iwobi, Gnabry might not have even been guaranteed a place in the Arsenal 1st team squad.

Gnabry turned down the contract, and engineered a move back to Germany where Werder Bremen could provide him the 1st team football he desired.

You could not blame Gnabry for wanting 1st team football, and you could not blame Arsenal for not being able to give him what he wanted. The two parted ways in mutual consent.

Were Arsenal proved correct?

Last season Serge Gnabry scored 11 goals in 27 games for Werder Bremen. He also netted a hat trick on his debut for Germany – although this was against San Marino.

This hat trick had man Arsenal fans screaming about the mistake Wenger had made in letting Gnabry go.

But then let’s look closer to home.

Gnabry is a right winger. And whilst his return of 11 goals in 27 games was exceptional, Theo Walcott quietly netted 19 goals in 33 games.

Walcott is massively underrated at Arsenal. 19 in 33 last season. So whilst Arsenal fans were screaming at the error in letting Gnabry go, they were ignoring the fact that on the right side of Arsenal’s midfield, Theo Walcott was having an exceptional season, and outperforming Gnabry.

Of course, a case could be made that Gnabry could have played left wing ahead of Alex Iwobi.

Last season for Werder Bremen, Gnabry played througout the front 4 position. Left, right, behind the striker, up front. Doing that job at Arsenal was a man called Alexis Sanchez.

Anyone who sits there and claims Gnabry should have started ahead of Sanchez is an idiot.

The fact that Joel Campbell was also allowed to leave (on loan) and Lucas Perez played so little games, highlights just how little game time would have been available to Gnabry.

And we have not even spoken about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Should Arsenal have re-signed Gnabry?

On paper, a deal should have been obvious. We reportedly had a first option clause inserted int he deal with Werder Bremen, enabling us to have an offer accepted by Bremen if we equalled what other teams have offered. Arsenal could have put in a bid for Gnabry in the last couple of weeks but it ignores the fact that:

a) Gnabry would have had to have agreed to join Arsenal
b) Arsenal would have had space for Gnabry

On the first, reports from Germany are that Gnabry himself engineered a move away from Werder Bremen.

Werder Bremen chairman Klaus Filbry has been highly critical of the young German

“I would have hoped for some more perseverance from Serge,” Filbry told Werderstube. “Maybe he opted for the easiest way. I think it’s a pity, but I wish him all the best.

“I was hoping that he could imagine a longer stay at Bremen – and the talks we had also suggested that was an option. But then he did not really get going again after his injury. Maybe that made him change his mind.

“The decision made by the coach [to drop Gnabry] were absolutely understandable. We were successful and won.”

It seems Gnabry had decided to leave to join Bayern Munich before Munich had even put in a bid for him. Had Arsenal also come in for him, Gnabry would probably have picked Bayern Munich.

We then have the fact that, like last summer, Arsenal do not have a place for Serge Gnabry.

In the new 3-4-3 formation we are playing, the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi have seen their game time cut. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had to recreate himself as a wing back. Gnabry would have struggled for game time at Arsenal, and would have found himself as an understudy to Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Of course, had either Ozil or Sanchez left, Gnabry could have replaced them. But would you, as a ready and a fan, been happy with selling Sanchez and replacing him with Gnabry? No you wouldn’t be.

Since joint Weder Bremen, Gnabry has recently seen a recurrence of his injury issues, picking up both back, knee and muscular problems in the last 3 months.

Arsenal simply do not have space for Gnabry. We need to be buying better than what we have, Gnabry is not that.

But what then for the question of him not being good enough for Arsenal but being good enough for Bayern Munich.

Gnabry future at Byaern Munich

So Serge Gnabry, not good enough for Arsenal, not even good enough for WBA, now finds himself at the German champions. Surely that shows his class. The mistakes made by others?

The deal actually reminds me of when Chelsea bought Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City for £21m.

At the time, Wright-Phillips was being heavily linked with Arsenal. In came Chelsea who overpaid for the Englishman, sticking him on a big money contract. He ended up as a massive flop, scored just 3 league goals, and was sold back to Manchester City just 3 seasons later.

Chelsea did not sign Wright-Phillips because they needed him, or because he was good enough for them, they signed him to stop an opponent getting him.

Bayern Munich have a record of doing similar in Germany.

Over the years they have signed countless players from other German sides to either weaken an opponent or to simply stop an opponent signing them.

Had Gnabry gone to Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzeg, he would have improved both outfits. So Bayern Munich went in for the kill. They signed a player who is not as good as Arjen Robben, Frank Ribeiry, Douglas Costa or Kingsley Coman, purely to stop him going to an opponent.

With their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez, they have clearly not signed Serge Gnabry because they believe him to be good enough for them, but because they want to stop an opponent getting better.

If is fairly ironic that Gnabry did not signed a new contract at Arsenal due to a lack of 1st team football, to a year later join Bayern Munich where he will not get 1st team football.

 

I was disappointed when Serge Gnabry left Arsenal. I felt at the time we should have tried our best to keep him. I saw his talent, his ability.

It was a mistake letting him leave last summer, but it certainly was not a Sir Alex Ferguson / Paul Pogba error.

He could have been a good back up / competition to the wingers last year, and this year could have been good back up for Sanchez and Ozil. But he clearly did not want to be back up. He wanted 1st team football.

I wonder why, 12 months later when joining Bayern Munich, 1st team football is no longer as important to him?

Keenos

 

Serge Gnabry – Wenger’s biggest mistake?

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Over the 20 years of Arsene Wenger, one thing he has never done at Arsenal is release a youngster who has gone on to prove him wrong. Looking through the list of players sold, there is not a single player who has bought through, then sold, who has gone on to bigger and better things than Arsenal.

He has no Paul Pogba or Gerard Pique, Juan Mata or Jordi Alba on his resume.

But with his time running out at Arsenal, after 20 years there could well be one player who could come back to haunt Wenger as the one that got away Serge Gnabry.

A hat trick hero on his German debut over the weekend – although it was only San Marino – the German youngsters has hit 4 goals in 9 games for Werder Bremen since joining them in a cut price, transfer deadline day deal.

At the time he was sold, many were disappointed, and that disappointed has grown week by week as his performances in Germany have been reported back in England, and the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have continued to ‘struggle’ – although Chamberlain himself has had a decent start to the season, 5 goals in 14 games.

A lot of anger is due to fans short memory. They only remember the last game. They remember Chamberlain continually smashing crosses into row z, whilst Gnabry scored a hat trick.

Serge Gnabry is a path of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances.

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In 2013/14 he looked exceptional. He was being talked about as the future of Germany. A long term replacement for Theo Walcott. Taking into account Walcott’s loss of confidence, form and ability, 2016/17 should have been Gnabry’s year. But it is not.

In what turned out to be his last senior game at Arsenal, Gnabry picked up a serious knee injury.

Arsenal took their time repairing the youngster, and he was not seen again for almost a year, playing for the youth side in the late stages of 2014/15.

The next year he was sent out on loan. The idea was simple. Send him to a Premier League club, he will play 38 games. Be a superstar, and return ready to fight for his place in the team.

Unfortunately he ended up at WBA, playing for Tony Pullis who clearly has an irrational hatred for attacking players. He played 13 Premier League minutes.

Pullis blamed Gnabry. Saying the young winger was unable to adapt to his defensive philosophy and lacked work-rate without the ball. Ignoring the fact that he was dealing with a young Eden Hazard or Lionel Messi, not a Robbie Savage or Lee Catermole. I do wonder why Pullis loaned an attacking player when what he wanted was defensive. Maybe he should have got in a couple of full backs to play on the wing?

So at this point Gnabry had lost 2 years of his career. 2 years of important development. He showed at the Olympics his natural ability. But with 1 year left on his contract, Arsenal were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Attempt to get him to sign a new 5 year deal, loan him out, risk him not developing, and we are stuck with an average player on a long contract. Or sell him, risk losing a talented youngster, something we might regret later.

Arsenal were actually trying to do the former. Gnabry was deep into transfer talks in the summer. The expectation was that he would sign a new contract. That he would be given the chance at Arsenal. But then Bremen came in on deadline day with the offer of a return to Germany and first team football.

The rumours are Gnabry pulled out of contract talks, which surprised Wenger, and made it very clear that he wanted to leave for first team football.

Arsenal had little choice but to sell him.

With his aforementioned injury problems and 2 years without playing, Arsenal could not promise him 1st team football. Even with Joel Campbell gone, he was still behind Sanchez, Walcott, Iwobi & Oxlade-Chamberlain. Add in Danny Welbeck and Gnabry was 6th choice winger. He would have struggled to see 1st team football at Arsenal.

Gnabry is still just 21. He has a bright future in the game. Hopefully Arsenal have a buy back clause and a sell on clause in the deal. That one day he might return ala Alvaro Morata at Real Madrid. Or we might do a Carlos Vela and use the clause to extort more money out of the club we are selling too. I wish him luck.

But with Gnabry, every cloud has a silver lining. With him departing, it has given Alex Iwobi a chance, and he has taken it with both hands.

Gnabry might come back to bite Arsenal and Arsene. There is already talk of a move to Bayern Munich on the cards. He is clearly a gifted player but, like Jack Wilshere, it would have been impossible for him to get the opportunities at Arsenal that he has got elsewhere.

Fair play to Gnabry for wanting to actually play football. He could have signed a new 5 year deal with Arsenal on big money and done nothing except build his bank account.

I wish him all the luck and maybe, one day, he might return.

Keenos