Tag Archives: West Ham

Arsenal spend right rather than big

As the transfer window trundles to a close today prior to the Premier League opener tomorrow, I thought I would share some thoughts on the market, and how Arsenal have performed.

My thought can be summed up in the statement it is not what you spend, but who you buy.

Fans can often become obsessed with the value of the player, rather than the ability of the player. Thinking that the more expensive the player, the better he must be. But with brilliant recruitment you can sign top class players at the fraction of what other clubs are spending.

It is dangerous to look at what other clubs have spent over what they have actually signed.

This summer West Ham, Everton, Fulham and Leicester City have all outspent Arsenal (at the time of writing – Wednesday lunchtime), and some people might use that fact to attack the club. But look at what the actually signed.

Everton spent £42million on Richarlison from Watford. He hasn’t scored since November, and no assists since December.

West Ham also went big on an attacking Brazilian, spending £38million on Felipe Anderson. The former wonderkid has never really developed into a consistent performer and £38million is a lot of money for a man who was restricted to just 9 starts last season due to a serious knee injury.

Leicester City signed James Maddison for £25m, Ricardo Pereira (who?) for £23million and Liverpools 9th choice goal keeper Danny Ward for £12.5million. Over £60million spent on Championship players.

Also buying Championship players are Fulham who have spent £37million on Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson – two players who have previously been found wanting in the Premier League.

Now lets shut our eyes and imagine Arsenal bought the 7 players mentioned in this blog. Nearly £180million spent. Would you say it is good business? No. It would be big money wasted.

Arsenal spent just £67million on Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira & Mattéo Guendouzi.

What would be the better business? £67million on what Arsenal got, or the £180million on a bunch of tripe?

Perhaps what sums up what I am saying is 4 players signed by Arsenal and Chelsea. Two a piece.

Lucas Torreira + Bernd Leno =  £42million

Jorginho + Kepa Arrizabalaga = £130million

Now I am now saying Chelsea have made poor signings. Joringho is a very good central midfielder and Kepa a top young keeper. But are they much better than Torreira and Leno? Are they even actually any better?

Torreira and Jorginho both played in Italy last season, slightly different styles of play. They both bring a lot of ability to the middle of the park. For me, they are both equally as good as what they do. Torrieira defending, Jorginho keeping the ball moving.

As for the goal keepers, Arsenal are getting an experienced German keeper who is on the fringes of the national team, Chelsea a less experienced Spanish keeper who is on the fringes of the national team.

The uneducated amongst us will point to Chelsea and say “they have spent £130million, they have shown ambition” whilst criticising Arsenal for “going cheap”. But the reality is the quality of the players being bought in is not much different.

Arsenal have not gone cheap, they have bought the right players at a good price. Meanwhile Chelsea have probably over paid for what they have bought in.

I have always been a student of Soccernomics where you do not focus on what has been spent, but what has been bought in, and what Arsenal have bought in is plenty to be happy about.

Keenos

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The FA Cup & Aubameyang update

The FA Cup

For the first time in 22 years, since 1996, Arsenal are not in the 4th round of the FA Cup. And I am gutted.

I am sitting here at 10:12 writing this blog, really not sure what to do with myself? Do I go and fix the garden up after the rough winter we have had?Or maybe put on my wellies and go for a couple of hours stroll in Epping Forest up to the Owl on High Beach, a few pints then stroll back?

Maybe a trip to the garden centre and grab a couple more house plants? I am unsure, I feel lost. This must feel like what it is to be a Spurs fan, getting knocked out the cups early.

Oh well, at least I have a League Cup Final to look forward too, Pinnacle vip code 2018 states that we are not favourites with the bookmakers

Whilst writing this, David Moyes has popped up on Sky Sports News to discuss the upcoming Wigan v West Ham tie.

“They won the FA Cup and got relegated. I am sure if you asked Wigan fans, they would rather not win the FA Cup and still be in the Premier League”.

What a load of rubbish. It is up there with Spurs fans saying they do not want to win trophies, that playing in the Champions League is more important than winning a cup. It is like top 4 is a trophy. Or staying in the Premier League is a trophy.

It should not be surprising that David Moyes has this opinion, that cups mean nothing.

A manager for 20 years, his only trophy is the Football League second division, way back in 1999/2000.

He spent 11 years at Everton, and never won a trophy.

His target was clearly to finish in the top half of the table, rather than win a trophy.

I feel for West Ham fans that they have a manager who openly says he does not want to win things. How out of touch is he with the fans?

I am sure if you ask Wigan fans, the FA Cup win is the highlight of their lives. Same with Portsmouth fans. The cup means everything.

It is only those who have not won it for decades who devalue it.

I am gutted not being in it.

Aubameyang Update

The deal seems to be at a stalement.

The crack negotiating team have flown back to England as negotiations continue. I is dying a slow death.

If the deal does not go through, it perhaps highlights that the problems at the club are bigger than just Arsene Wenger.

Previously, whenever a transfer feel through, Wenger (rightly) got the blame. But this deal is showing that the club is rotten from the manager up.

How the deal has not been done yet is incredible.

Dortmund want to sell, Arsenal want to buy, Aubameyang wants to join. It should be an easy deal to get over the line.

Reports were that Dortmund want ~£55-£60m. That Arsenal wanted to initially pay £40m. This is the start of the negotiations.

Arsenal were apparently concerned with paying over the club-record £46.5m that they spent on Alexandre Lacazette in the summer. And this is where the frustration begins.

We are talking about Dortmund wanting about £10m more than this. Arsenal need to learn to ignore the milestones, stop being concerned about the criticism, and just get the deals done.

With the sales of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott, and the money made in the summer, Arsenal have a net spend of nearly £45m.

Are we really trying to break even for the season? That is lubricious.

We moved to compete with the best, for the best. Now I am not saying we should be spending the £200m on players that Manchester City are – we can not afford that – but we should not be looking to break even every season, in terms of transfer spend.

We have the money to get Aubameyang in. Let’s get it over the line.

Keenos

Arsenal sleep walk into League Cup semi final

And just like that, Arsenal are into the semi final of the Copacabana Cup.

Without even trying, putting in zero effort, Arsenal are still on course for a visit to Wembley in early 2018 and a chance of a first bit of silverware for the season.

Having already beaten Doncaster Rovers 1-0 without breaking a sweat, Arsenal fans got a little bit of excitement with the late Eddie Nketiah equaliser and subsequent extra time winner. The 1-0 win over West Ham was back to boring boring Arsenal in the League Cup.

1-0, muted celebrations at the end, fans barely bothered to turn up, even less staying till the end, and even less celebrating making a semi final of a domestic competition.

The fact that Arsenal have made the semi final without putting any effort in is testament to our current status as the premier cup kings of English football.

Whilst the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham failed in the competition, ensuring a continuation of their trophy droughts, Arsenal made the semi final in 1st gear.

Contrast the muted celebrations of Arsenal to that of Manchester City.

The Premier League runaway leaders celebrated making the semi final like it was a World Cup quarter final that they had just one.

Yes, they had the excitement of penalties, which always raises the adrenaline, but seeing their fans and celebrate like mad, and Pep Guardiola fist pump and sing along to his own song, well it was a little cringe. Although in hindsight, making any semi final is something to celebrate for a small club like Manchester City.

The League Cup is the only trophy they have won in the last 3 years and Guardiola is still searching for his first piece of silverware in England, despite spending half a billion quid.

The players City used to beat Leicester cost them over £250m. When you take into account this was their B team, it shows how much they have invested. It was only a little less than what Arsenal’s entire squad cost.

With City through, and Chelsea and Manchester United with fairly routine ties, it could make for 2 gigantic match ups in the semi finals.

It will be interesting to see who sticks and who twists in terms of squads.

League Cup semi finals, and progression into the 4th round of the FA Cup, will make it 8 games in January. A heavy work load. I have already expressed my opinion that Arsenal should prioritise the cups over the league, putting our resources into competitions we can win rather than a competition that is impossible to win this season,

Do that and we might have a final to look forward to. A trophy to lift at Wembley. A 4th trophy in 4 years.

Not bad for a team in crisis.

Keenos