Tag Archives: She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

Sven Mislintat – Truth or Lies?

So “interesting” Le Grove broke some news about Sven Mislintat.

Now I do not know whether this news is true or not. No one really does. The “news” was passed around many bloggers, who were unable to independently verify it. So is there truth in the news, or is it a case of Le Grove decided being first is more important than being accurate?

Without having my own source to verify if it is true or not, here is my take on a few things:

Everyone knew but no one said

When Le Grove “broke” the news, other bloggers came out and said that they had “heard the same at the weekend”. If so many were told the news, why did no one say? Did they not trust the source?

The 3 sources

Le Grove also says that he has 3 different sources who told him over the weekend of the news. If there were this many sources, it is clearly a leaky story. Why was the story not picked up by anyone?

Lack of real media

So every blogger seemed to know, despite not breaking the news themselves. There were 3 sources. Yet not one single proper media outlet had reported the story?

Surely with such a leaky story, the likes of John Cross or Matt Law would have written a story? They have reputations of writing stories without concrete evidence. The story is perfect for click bait journalists.

The only media outlets who have picked up the story at the time of writing were 101 goals (not a real news site), The Independent (not a real newspaper) and the Metro (click bait kings).

The Independent article is filled with speculation and rumours. If Miguel Delaney (who wrote the article) knew all of that information, why did he not write about it sooner?

No noise from Germany

There has also been little noise from Germany. If Bayern Munich were discussing a move with him, would it not also have broken in Germany?

New job jitters

As a recruiter, I know how often people get the new job jitters. Many people join a company, are sold that company, only to find after 6 months or so that it is not the company for them.

It might be the culture of the company, they might have been miss-sold the job, or they might have realised the grass is not greener.

The new regime

Sven Mislintat was recruited whilst Arsene Wenger was manager and Ivan Gazidis was CEO. Raul Sanllehi and Unai Emery now hold these positions.

It is very plausible that Mislintat does not get on with his new bosses.

A different direction

Likewise, Sanllehi might not get on with Mislintat. He might have pushed the German to one side to enforce his own views on the recruitment, perhaps siding with his compatriot Emery when it came to the crunch.

Homesick?

Working in a new country can be daunting. Not everyone settles down.

Mislintat is from Kamen, a town on the outskirts of Germany. It is not unreasonable that after a year living in London, he is pining for a return to Germany.

Arteta and Allegri

Many of the people saying that they were told over the weekend of this news also hugely went for either Arteta or Allegri to replace Wenger. There sources were wrong on that occasion. Was it the same source?

 

Ultimately, we will not know the truth until it comes out. Until then it is just speculation….

Keenos

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Who could replace Petr Cech as Arsenal number 2?

Arsenal goal keeper Petr Cech has announced his plan to retire from football at the end of the season.

Regardless of his retirement Cech was always leaving Arsenal at the end of the season with his contract expiring.

Earning £100,000 a week, Arsenal will now look to reinvest some of that in a new number 2 to back up Bernd Leno. So who are the 5 top candidates?

Fraser Forster

It does not feel too long ago that many Arsenal fans were calling for Fraser Forster to replace Cech as Arsenal’s Number 1.

Capped 6 times for England, he was England Number 2 at both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, behind Joe Hart.

His form fell away in 2016 having returned from a series knee injury the season previous.

Inconsistent performances led him to have one of the worst save/shot ratio amongst Premier League goalkeepers during the 2016/17. However he still managed to keep 14 clean sheets.

In  July 2017, Forster signed a new five-year contract, his indifferent form, however, continued into the new season. Forster  was eventually dropped from the team in December 2017, replaced in goal by Alex McCarthy He has not played for Southampton since.

He is currently 3rd choice behind McCarthy and Angus Gunn.

There would be many benefits to signing Forster.

He would be a cheap option, is Premier League and Champions League proven and is home-grown. At 30-years-old, he has the experience and quality to come in for Leno if he were to get injured. He would also see going from Southampton number 3, to Arsenal number 2 a step up. The question mark over him would be surrounding his form.

Having not played for a over a year, what condition is he in?

Jack Butland

Like Forster, Jack Butland was at one point many fans favourite to replace Joe Hart as England number 1.

He has remained with Stoke City in the Championship despite their relegation. He has been critical of the club, branding their transfer policy as ‘farcical’.

At 25-years-old, he probably still desires a return to being a Premier League number 1. It was only last summer that Liverpool were ‘closing in’ on the signing Butland for a world record fee of £40million for a goalkeeper, according to media reports.

Butland’s conundrum next summer will be whether he joins a relegation outfit as their number 1, or decides to be a number 2 at a top club.

When you look at the Premier League, Butland would not start for a top 6 club. Watford (currently in 7th) might see him as a long term replacement to Ben Foster, beyond that, he is not really much better than what Leicester City (Schmeichel), west Ham (Fabianski), Everton (Pickford), Wolves (Rui Patricio). That would then leave Bournemouth (in 12th) and below vying for his signature.

Would Arsenal number 2 be more attractive than being a regular starter for a team struggling at the bottom of the table? Perhaps.

Like Forster, he is Premier League proven and home-grown.

Could be expensive though.

David Ospina

When Bernd Leno joined the club, it was David Ospina who made way as Arsenal were unable to accommodate 3 senior goal keepers.

He joined Napoli last summer on a one-year loan deal with an option to buy following new signing Alex Meret’s injury. The 21-year-old Italian picked up an injury during one of his first training sessions at the club following a £30 million arrival.

It is unlikely that Ospina will be Napoli number 1 next season, with the club having invested so heavily in Meret, however they still might trigger the release clause and make him their number two. They still have Greek vetran Orestis Karnezis at the club as well.

That will leave Ospina with a decision.

Either remain at Arsenal as number 2 and see out the last year of his contract, or join Napoli as their number 2.

I would not be too upset to see Ospina stay.

Damian Martinez

It is incredible to think that Argentian Damian Martinez was in goal when Arsenal beat Reading 7-5 back in 2012. He has played just 12 times since that game.

He will be 27-years-old early next season, and his career is passing him by.

Some fans will see it as “his chance next” to be Arsenal number 2, however the club need to be clinical in their decision making.

A number 2 goal keeper has to be number 1 quality.

Picture the scenario. The transfer window is shut; 1st game of the season Leno gets injured. Out for a year. Whoever is number 2 is now de facto number 1. Would you trust Martinez to play in goal for 37?

The fact he has played so little would show that the club do not rate him high enough.

When you look at the 2nd choice goal keepers at other top 6 sides, all are internationals with experience as top tier first choice keeper.

Manchester United have the Argentinean number one (Romero) and Chelsea their number 2 (Willy Caballero) . Manchester City can call on Chilean legend Claudio Bravo whilst Liverpool have Simon Mignolet. Tottenham have former Swansea number 1 and Dutch international Michel Vorm.

Back in 2014, Arsenal decided to sign Ospina instead of promote the then 22-year-old Martinez to number 2 behind Cech.

Has he improved much since then? Who knows.

Martinez has struggled to play consistently on his various loan deals. If he is not good enough to start in the Championship, he is not good enough for the Premier League.

The same can be said for Matt Macey who is currently performing well at League One Plymouth Argyle.

The likely scenario is that Martinez or Macey is Arsenal’s third choice goal keeper next year, with neither being good enough to become 2nd choice.

Nick Pope

Sean Dyche recently commented that his Burnley side have 3 very good goal keepers.

Joe Hart has been number 1 for much of the season, although he has recently lost his place to club captain Tom Heaton. Last season following Heaton’s injury, Nick Pope stepped up as number 1 and was was named in the 23-man England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after his good form.

Hart, Heaton and Pope have all been capped by England in the last 18 months. It is clear that Burnley can not keep all 3 at the club.

Pope is the one most likely to leave, having not played in the Premier League this season.

He could be a solid back up for Bernd Leno, providing Premier League experience. Would be a cheaper option that Jack Butland.

Keenos

Arsenal embroiled in “strangest ever transfer window”

It has been an odd January transfer window this time around.

Arsenal have made the headlines based on who we have not signed. The quotes from Unai Emery about only targeting loan players was the big news.

The main reason Arsenal are only looking at loan players is that they do not feel any of their main targets are available until the summer. They have made the decision not to waste money on short term options.

And it seems this is the way of the majority of the Premier League so far.

We sit here half-way through the transfer window and there has been next to no business.

Table toppers Liverpool have yet to sign a single player. Manchester City have only seen Brahim Diaz exit for Real Madrid with no incomings.

Like in the summer, Tottenham have no money to spend due to the delays and increasing costs of their new stadium. With Harry Kane’s injury news, they announced last night that they will not be buying a replacement.

Chelsea have signed Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £57.6m, however he is going to remain at Dortmund until the end of the season. They have also had no new players join.

We know about Arsenal.

Then we have Manchester United. They make it a full house for Big 6 sides not signing anyone in January so far.

Watford in 7th, Leicester City, West Ham and Everton have also yet to buy anyone in January. That means no one in the top 10 have bought a player in this transfer window.

It is an odd situation. One that I do not recall happening before. Why have they not signed anyone?

Is it a simple case of there being no one available who they think can dramatically improve their sides without breaking the bank?

Wolves has signed David Wang, an 18-year-old prospect, but have sent him straight to Sporting CP on loan.

It is not until you get to Bournemouth in 12th where we finally have a club who has done any real business.

They signed Dominic Solanke for £19 million from Liverpool, and also loaned Nathaniel Clyne from the same club.

We are then back to the same story as the top half of the table.

Brighton, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Southampton, Cardiff, Newcastle and Fulham are yet to buy anyone.

You would think clubs fighting relegation would have at least made one panic buy, but it seems they have all decided to stick rather than twist.

Bottom of the table Huddersfield are the 2nd team after Bournemouth to have signed anyone.

Huddersfield have signed England U19 international left-back Jaden Brown from Tottenham and Jason Puncheon on loan from Crystal Palace.

£419.5m was spent by Premier League clubs in 2018. That is £400m more than has spent this window.

We are only half way through the window and things can change very quickly in football. But there is hardly any speculation surrounding most clubs. They are not being heavily linked with anyone. No deals seem to be on the verge of going through.

We could end up with a transfer window where less than £50m is spent.

It really has been an odd transfer window so far.

Keenos