Eight early-season Arsenal conclusions and line-up v Urawa Red Diamonds

Will we see more of Mr Reliable as one of our CBs on Friday?
Will we see more of Mr Reliable as one of our CBs on Friday?

Whilst the transfer shenanigans continue without any let-off, Arsenal’s current team has actually been playing some very watchable footie. It is fair to say that the opposition has not been much to write home about until now, but nevertheless our football has been good.

It is only early days and things could change a lot over the next four weeks, but based on the first three games of the campaign we can pull a few conclusions:

  1. Wall of RamTeta: it looks very much that Arsene will continue with Arteta and Ramsey in the double-DM pivot. Enough has been written about this in recent posts, so no more on this from me now.
  2. Our AM, whether it is Rosicky or Wilshere, have been very quick in turning the game from defence to attack. They very often opt for the ball over the top, or a diagonal ball to find one of the wingers with a precision pass. Our AMs have been very mobile and driven to move the game forward quickly, and long may it continue.
  3. The team has been pressing the opposition really well given the rustiness at this stage of the campaign and the humid weather in Asia. Ramsey has been leading by example with regards to this but the whole team has been chipping in, and collectively they have been very successful in winning back the ball regularly until now.
  4. Theo, but also Gnabry and to a lesser extent Ryo, are being ‘launched’ constantly from midfield. This is all part of our quick defence to attack turnaround approach, and for the first time in a long while Arsenal are now really utilising the speed of Theo and others. It has led to many very good chances for Theo and I expect to see more of it this season, with our Speedy Gonzales hopefully converting more of his opportunities. Theo has got the speed and the good first touch, and now he needs to improve his lethalness. He will improve further this season, I reckon.
  5. The full backs – one at a time – are once again key in setting up attacks from the wing. Unfortunately, Jenkinson and Gibbs have looked rusty until now, but they are both players who appear to need a number of games in a row before they start to shine.
  6. Giroud has looked very positive and focussed until now, and six goals in three games will help him to build further on this. He will, of course, face tougher opposition this season, but his sharpness up-front is a very welcome sight.
  7. Zelalem has been showing us lots of promise until now. He is very confident, calm and classy on the ball and can pick a through-ball with incredible ease. A great prospect.
  8. Ox and Jack have looked really up for it and, IF they can stay fit for long spells this season, they will be……dare I say it……like two new quality signings.

All in all, plenty of positives and let’s hope the team will continue to progress over the next few weeks.

Predicted Line-up against Urawa Red Diamonds:

Urawa Red Diamonds

I reckon Fab will start in goal, and Jenkinson and Gibbs will get another chance to become more effective both in defence (especially Jenkinson) and up-front. I expect Sagna and Mertesacker to start, although there is a chance that Sagna will play with Miquel. I am expecting Arteta and Ramsey to get a rest and for Arsene to try another double DM combination tomorrow. Ox needs a start and Aneke should get a proper test as well, so I am going for these two tomorrow.

I expect Jack to play in the hole from the start and Myachi and Theo (or Gnabry) on the wing, and Giroud will probably not start this time round, so I am going for the Pod as our striker. The latter needs a good game and I have a feeling Wenger will give him the striker position tomorrow.

Enjoy the game fellow Gooners!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

129 thoughts on “Eight early-season Arsenal conclusions and line-up v Urawa Red Diamonds

  • Great points of observation on the 6th and 7th points.

    Keep it up…

  • good to see you back, Wengerball

    nice one, TA

    can’t disagree with you, guvnor but where is Santi ? (i thought he was with the squad and Nacho was the only one unable to join the boys in asia)

  • Thanks Totes. All we need is that football from the Asia games to be converted to the EPL with success !.

    As for JB`s link above, well, to me it`s utter bollox !. Cesc left us for his home club, it was them or no one, also at a lower wage and said he loves Arsenal and would only play for us if it went tits up in Barca !. It`s just the papers making up stories again to justify their wages as they quote no source because there is none !. However, if he did end up at Manscum, I think I would knock football on the head completely, that would be one betrayal to many that would break my heart !.

  • I see Cardiff have had a bid for Capoue excepted for £8.6M !. I thought we offered more than that in January or was that just another newspaper lie ?.

  • Lots of positives there I agree.

    With slow progress on the transfers, I would settle for a CB and a decent striker at this point; anything less and I worry for us this season. TA, I agree our first team looks pretty promising, but its the depth that’s the problem – look how vulnerable we looked last season when Arteta was out, and yet no new DM signed and Arteta can’t be expected to last a full season without injury. Would Ramsey and the Ox really cut it against the strong teams? I don’t think so. We shifted the right folk out from defence, but again, we can’t go into the season with only 3 CB – even if Sagna looks better than average cover. I don’t worry about our AM strength though; it all looks class to me, with plenty of young talent to come through as well. But we all know we need some extra teeth up front – though I wouldn’t choose the donkey one”s if I had the choice….

  • Glic, agree about the effect of Fab going to Mancs. But I don’t believe they would be persisting with him without some kind of encouragement – probably coming via RVJ. The tough question for us is whether Fab would choose to come back to us for preference if Barca decide to sell, or whether he would take the cash and the easy promise of medals that took our last captain away? Whatever clause we may have with Barca, it still depends on Fab being willing to come back to us; I hope he would, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

  • right then, i am not a happy bunny, people often post things as facts and make others believe that it was true…i don’t remember who it was i was debating Suarez vs Higuain , but i was told that Suarez’s conversion rate is 16% or even lower than that….and then i come across this from skysports :

    chance conversion – PL 2012/13
    Player Club Big chances missed Big chances scored Conversion success
    Robin van Persie Man Utd 23 17 43%
    Olivier Giroud Arsenal 19 4 17%
    Sergio Aguero Man City 18 7 28%
    Papiss Cisse Newcastle 18 5 22%
    Nikica Jelavic Everton 18 4 18%
    Edin Dzeko Man City 17 10 37%
    Romelu Lukaku WBA 15 9 38%
    Arouna Kone Wigan 15 7 32%
    Luis Suarez Liverpool 14 16 53%
    Michu Swansea 14 12 46%

    sorry if the table didn’t come out right but Suarez had the best conversion rate last year at 53%

    original source here


    PS: who ever you were that made me and everyone else believe his conversion rate was a whole lot lower, you’re lucky that i don’t remember your name ahahhahahahahahaha

  • Cheers Wengerball, JB, Glic 🙂

    I have watched this week’s game again this evening and really loved some of the new patterns.

  • right, since the names Bond, James bond and this is what i do for a living… i can now reveal that i have found who it was that made me and the rest of you believe that Suarez’s conversion rate in fact was “12%” .and not the 16% i mentioned above

    i won’t name him and shame him as that’s not my style but really that’s not nice 😀 i spent the whole night thinking how the fcuk did Suarez manage to score 30 goals last season when his conversion rate was “12%” and how did liverpool finish 7th ahahahahahahahaha

  • AB 🙂

    You have a got a point about Arteta, but in general I think our strength in depth is okay. If everyone is more or less fit, we could have a bench of TV, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Podolski, and a few youngsters. If we were to add an experienced goal keeper, a DM and an additional striker, we should be fine. Another CB could be welcome as well.

  • JB, I am pretty sure that his conversion rate is very low. Your source seems to be referring to big chances.

  • AFC,

    please click on the link i have provided (skysports one) and you can check it out yourself.

    this taken from the same link (Source)

    “This contrast is significant. Effectively, Arsenal have the potential to swap the most wasteful of forwards for the man who is most lethal. And given the service available from Wenger’s team, it is tempting to conclude Suarez would thrive. The Liverpool striker has become renowned for his ability to create things for himself, but at Arsenal there would be more support.”

    that should put everything to bed .

    as you can see, AFC, he’s not as bad as you made him out to be or made us believe, in fact if Higuain was the 2nd best in La liga, we will be getting the BEST IN THE PL…i had already mentioned that without checking his stats and have said it as well that i am not a stats guy, i just stumbled across this link an hour ago whilst reading top stories in newsnow.

    if you’re pretty sure then check again 😉 as the sky sports people are pretty solid and reliable.

    besides it’s common sense, if his conversion rate was as low as “12%” then that surely means that liverFOOL were creating chance after chance for him and with all due respect to liverFOOL, Henderson and Downing couldn’t create those many chances on fifa (xbox, ps3 on even on any decent mobile game app).

  • TA. Its the ‘if everyone is more or less fit’ bit that’s the problem. From past experience we can’t count on the Verm being back anytime soon (and I presume you weren’t planning on Diaby in here!). And while we all expect Jack to push up the field more as he develops, he is still part of our cover in the double pivot if either Arteta or Ramsey is out. Its in this central mid/defence area that we look thinnest. Last season we may have got great stats in terms of goals conceded, but at times we looked wide open and teams went through us like we weren’t there – it felt like every game was a nail biter, hoping we could hold out or the opposition would mess up their opportunities. A bit of solidity here and I think there is enough quality elsewhere in the squad – a year playing together has to help their fluidity of play, and even if Giroud is never going to be Robin, we should get plenty of goals from across the forward and AM line. 2 quality players and I really believe we are in business again. Here’s hoping Arsene has some pleasant surprises for us coming soon…

  • Aneke and Oxlade-Chamberlain, centre-midfield, blimey Total, that’s a bit radical, but interesting…
    Unfortunately, I’ve not seen any of the games, but the feedback I’ve got from different blogs is extremely positive.
    Especially concerning the youngsters that Arsene has taken on the Tour…

  • James Bond, I’m not sure about conversion rates, stats or whatever.
    What I do know, is that Arsene Wenger isn’t into throwing his money around in the transfer window. So if Arsene has given the green light for a £40m bid, for Suarez, then I get the feeling that he must think that he’s worth it…,

  • Morning all..

    TA.. today is our last asiatour game.. and we go for another victory.. so I think Wenger will play his first team early.. then change in second round..
    Ryo will play again.. to give him more confident to deal with EPL games..
    Sagna will play as a CB replacing Kosc.. just to test his consistency in that rule..
    Wilshere will play on second round..

    So the team will be :

    I like to test Zelalem and Eisfeld as our double DM.. hehehe.. with Ox or Wilshere as an AM..
    So second round will be :

    Will be great.. hahaha..

  • JB, Suarez shoots for fun which is why I can understand him having such a poor conversion rate.

  • JB, I think your source is looking at chance conversion rather than shot conversion and this could explain this whole misunderstanding?JB, I think your source is looking at chance conversion rather than shot conversion and this could explain this whole misunderstanding?

  • Good stuff TA. I love the lineup. We have Ryo, theo, and ox for pace; Aneke and Jack for a bit of old fashioned british bulldog), and the clinical striking of Podolski. With that sort of lineup I’d love to see Giroud up top to get to the crosses.

    A lot has been said of Zelalem being a prospect. I say stuff the prospect i’d give him games this season and see how he goes. Cesc swam and I think Zelalem can too. Last thing i want to see is him going out on loan because the system is a joke.

    Very excited to see more of the ox this season. The premier league will be his oyster soon enough!

    @ Terry

    hahaha I don’t fear you magic wig! I’ll have GLIC to my left and with his billowing laughter it’ll be enough to blow your magical wig away! If that doesn’t work I’ll bring the Sun to melt the glue/tape that binds it to your bonce! YOU OWE US A SIGNING DAMMIT!!!

  • JB & AFC- Boys please. Between you you prove only one thing … Stats can tell you whatever you want to hear?

    We have not signed him yet. but I note the change of tactics from Rodgers today. Gone is the ‘loyalty’ thing, in with the Liverpool are a bigger club(ha). With due respect to ‘Pool fans, they were a bigger club(than they are now), and given time they will get back there. But out of the CL and finishing 7th and 8th is what does not ‘add up’ to a big club?

    For what it is worth, I think Pool protested too much about the fee in the hope that they would get time to persuade Saurez to stay. If that does not work I think the ‘release clause’ may be more than what they were claiming? Saurez’s agent said that because they failed to get into the CL the clause becomes a ‘release’, not just an ‘inform’ clause?

    Watch this space …

  • TA – Nice diversionary post once again. Disappointed that Sagna/Mert combo did not make it 9 reasons to be cheerful … but that aside, very good.

    I could go all HH on you here regarding the double DM, but like you say that debate has been done to death.

    However, as AM has said, relying on fitness through the season is not the way to go. In defense we have two key weaknesses, should injury strike:

    Per Mertersacker – His pairing with Kos we know is good. Against this opposition we have faced, the mirror pairing with Sagna is good. If you are right in thinking Sagna and Miguel could be an AW option today? Well it could test both, especially if the double DM remains as you have it. Sagna will have to command and organise, and Miquel .. well he’ll have to be a complete CB, dominant in the air and quick to read the game?
    To date, no other pairing has come close to the Mert/Kos one.

    Conclusion: CB required to cover any absence of Per, and have the similar command and organisational skills to work with both Kos, and TV5 whenever he returns.

    Arteta – Well we all know what he brings, and we all know, at this moment in time we have not got another player to fill in. We have several who can ‘do a job’,but that is a big step up from what is required. Particularly in the tougher league games we have to come?

    Conclusion: Need either CB/DM to come in, and hope that two injuries do not coincide.
    Or a specialist DM – and Capoue at less than £9m sounds interesting?
    Or,we see if the likes of Aneke, Yennaris(assuming he is going to get a run out after the Asia tour?, or Sagna at yet another position which I believe he would fill admirably … providing it is a game where his skills are not required at RB(primarily – sod’s law tells us Jenks would be out at the same time), or CB (for whoever).

    Elsewhere … Well if anybody has seen Le Gren’s ‘goal of the friendlies’ yesterday will know why I thought he was worth every penny of £20m, and that goal has probably put him nearer the £30m bracket because everybody will be after him next season. However, if Eisfeld can step up, with all the other AM’s we have, we should be okay in this area.

    Strikers? – Is it to be Bernard’s medical day( here or Porto is the more pertinent question)? And do we get our main man? We’ll know shortly I guess.

    As for the line up today. Well JM is usually spot on, so I will go along with Henry’s starting eleven, if Szcz is fit again – Note, Fabianski is either in the shop window, or being thought as our second choice keeper?

    As for your alternative choices … Henry(to use the popular phrase) ‘what are you smoking over there?’ …
    Zelalem and Eisfeld as DMs? Give the lad a break. He is only 16, and coming along nicely. Let’s not smash the egg before it has time to hatch. He has got plenty of time before he can soar like an eagle.
    Eisfeld is an AM, and again, given the opportunities can become a very good one. Almost a bigger waste as having Bellerin at RB, putting him at DM?

    Seriously. These friendlies are fine for the confidence and team building, but let us wait until at least the Emirates Cup where the opposition will gives a much sterner test, before we decide on who, or how many of the youngsters will break into the side’s starting eleven.

  • Gerry.. Zelalem can play Arteta’s rule.. and so do Eisfeld to Ramsey.. and come on.. is only for testing the water.. not permanently.. just to check will it be great..?? haha.. and 20 minutes are enough.. haha..

  • Gerry, do not worry. Myself and JB are only trying to determine the facts and nothing more. 🙂

    You are right about Suarez. Now even Mourinho has some out and said he would be a good signing for us. I think a deal will be done.

  • Guys, the team for the match.

    Starting Team: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Miquel, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud, Gnabry.

    Subs: Szczesny, Martinez, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Ramsey, Olsson, Aneke, Miyaichi, Eisfeld. Zelalem, Podolski, Akpom.

  • Great post TA. 🙂 I agree there are many positives from this preseason. Sadly I’ve missed the first half hour of this game. Since I broke my thumb and can’t do anything I’ll try to type a good bit of my text post today.

  • 0-0 at half time, Urawa Reds has proven rightly to be the tougher (possibly the toughest) of our pre-season friendly opponents.

    They are one of the traditional powerhouses in the J-League.

  • A hard-fought 2-1 win for us, it looked as we were playing a real premiership game instead of a friendly.

    We are thankful for the “gifted” goal due to a mix-up between their defender and goalkeeper, props to Akpom for the clinical instinct to curl in low first time into goal.

  • Wow AFC,

    mate, you should consider writing a post on Suarez with all the stats including mine, you’ve done a lot of digging up and research, impressive but yeah you might be right about the whole misunderstanding thing, i know he’s not your cuppa but you did say that you wouldn’t mind him at arsenal either 🙂

    am gonna watch the game replay now on arsenal.com, replay in about 10 minutes time (but we won 2-1 yeah ?

    hope you’re feeling better now, Dylan and the thumb is on the mend


    am not a stats man as such when it comes to football, i believe in believing in what i see from my own eyes (old school).

    re- Bernard then sadly, Porto seemed to have offered him much higher wages than us or so i am being told…don’t be surprised if he joins Porto, however this has not made Wenger happy if he signs for Porto as there was an agreement of sorts of loaning him back to his club until january . (agents agents agents).

  • Thank you the Gunners for AsiaTour2013… you’ve really hit the heights both on and of the pitch. If not for anything else, then the team bonding and confidence boosting results will be much welcomed going into the new season. Welcome Saitama Cup to the Emirates and I hope you bring with you good tidings for the real deal ahead… next up #EmiratesCup as the block by block foundations get laid.
    As the larger culture of the Gooner fraternity from the far East always say, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”

  • exactly, Wengerball – well said

    no worries, AFC, we usually tend to have good solid discussions which are constructive but if you see from what i have posted then we would be getting a very good deal and it also shows that it’s much needed considering Giroud was the worst (even though it was his first season and most of us are harsh on him, it’s better to give him some support and Suarez can help him reach the next level i feel, both would compliment each others game actually).

    is it me or young Miguel is another squillaci in disguise ?

  • Guys, forget the stats this time when it comes to suarez. Trust your eyes. He does everything, with little help on that team. He is a terror, wreaks havoc in and around the opponents box. He creates so many opportunities for himself and others, more than anyone in the league. —–
    more than bale, vP for sure. He is a different kind of player, —-
    some stats dont tell the story with certain players.

  • JB, the fact that he is banned for the first 6 games of the EPL season mean we can play the waiiting game. We could take it all the way to deadline day if we choose to.

  • Jnyc,

    you nailed it 🙂


    apparently the reason why LiverFOOL are being awkward might be because their stance could be such that Arsenal are not in the CL technically and hence it doesn’t bring the release clause into force ?

    saying that, LiverFOOL are being LiverFOOL and rest assured, they will be taken to the cleaners by Suarez and his agent if they don’t stop with their acts of no dignity.

    you may have been a big club 20 years ago Rodgers but you sure as hell are a mid table club now and certainly act like one.

  • Thanks TA. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the points, our run-in for the first 10 or so games is promising. However, if we are not able to take at least 26 points of the first 30, I believe we will once again be struggling for CL qualification (we still could be if we falter in the 2nd half, but historically we have been stronger then).

    I don’t like to think of players improving within our current squad as “new signings” since they were already with the squad before – unless they’re displacing a current starter out of the line-up, it’s basically just an improvement in quality of depth since we’re not actually adding a body to the club. Internal improvement is always welcome and it’s possible one of our players takes a huge step forward, but the majority will likely take minor steps forward, with others taking minor steps back; such is football as it is a continual process.

    I’ve seen a lot of sales and loans for players struggling to get playing time at our club, which is always a positive but often with Arsenal, the replacements often end up coming up short or not in time before the window closes. I sincerely hope we do not see a repeat of the 2011 window where panic purchases were made in response to an 8-2 stomping.

  • Athletico Minero have named their price on Bernard, so if we are indeed interested and fail to buy him, it is only a fault of our own. The transfer market is thinning out, so losing out on him would be a massive blow considering the players remaining and the exorbitant asking prices the selling clubs are seeking.

  • JB – Just replay our position with Man U for a minute. Is it so different from he way Liverpool are going about it?

    It the release clause isn’t triggered, then either we up our offer, or walk away. If Saurez is saying he wants to sign by Monday, it might be code for him saying we need to up our offer or he stays?

    AFC – Be serious. Just because we cannot play him until October, in the league at least, you cannot leave a £50m transfer hanging in the balance until Sept 2nd. We could of course turn to Soldado right now, but not in a couple of weeks time. They are saying different things at different times; They wont sell at all; We want value. Soldado is the back up plan. Basically they want as much as they can get, and remember, unlike RVP, Saurez is not on the last year of his contract, so they are not face with a financial loss if they keep him?

    If we put in a £45m offer, and it goes to mediation if they refuse, then the clause will be fully tested out. However, I don’t see AW going down that route. It all depends on how serious Saurez is about the move. Lose the %age of the fee with a slightly increased offer might be enough. If not, ‘Tant Pis’ I think the phrase AW will be using .. to himself at least?

  • Bernard

    The real complications (an insight):

    (1) FC Porto are direct competitors for his signature and will be confident in landing Bernard due to third party implications. Bernard is part owned by the Banco de Minas Gerais (BMG) – a Brazilian bank, who have connections with the Portuguese club and therefore a deal would be easier done.

    (2) Should Arsenal wish to bring Bernard to England then they would have to buy him outright due to the Premier League regulations on third party ownership which would mean dealing not only with Atletico Mineiro but also the bank who part owns the player. It may be likely the bank will want to keep a commercial interest in Bernard and refuse to deal with Arsenal.

  • Gerry,

    our situation with RVP and man utd was different as in we weren’t as public nor disrespectful to Man utd or taking cheap shots as such.

    we quoted a price of 20 million for anyone abroad and if someone from PL was interested then we added an additional 5 million on top…Juventus came with a 15 million offer, we told them to sod off

    man utd were hoovering around 18 to 20 and we were insisting on 24 , in the end the deal got done .

    we gave UTD a hard time sure but never did we lose our class or scoop low.

    i doubt if LiverFOOL will want it go as far hence you can already see them saying, “Hurry the fcuk up and give us close to 50 million before 3rd of August and he’s yours”.

  • Dylan – instead of showing off by saying you type with you thumb, get on and write the match report, eh?

    Consider this when you do bash it out with your middle fingers(like the rest of us do?);

    Analyse the difference between the start of this, and the previous game?
    How much was down to the opposition being more organised, and stronger going forwards?
    Name the players who you think should be playing in the Emirates cup next week, based their overall performances on this tour?

    Go on! You know you are dying to do it?

  • I here you JB. I was just pointing out that we were the frustrated club losing our best asset too. It made no difference playing the loyalty card, so now the’re on Plan B – We don’t have to sell.

    Only Saurez or a wad full of cash is going to change that?

  • indeed, but you see no one saw RVP leaving the season before as the traitor had been very injury prone, in the case of Suarez there was an agreement in place which allowed him to leave if they failed to secure CL footy, on that basis he agreed to sign an extension last year and this is where him and his reps are getting pee’d off (rightfully so).

    we have only offered a wad full of cash and i expect Suarez and co to hold their end of the bargain 😉

  • Good point JM, though Arsenal should know better than to “express serious interest” in a player with difficult third party negotiators. It seems the majority of the players we wish to buy have such complications, which is becoming the standard excuse for management to not make new signings.

    Players that are not signed were deemed “not good enough” for Arsenal or “too expensive”. The likes of Mata, Cahill, Michu, Holtby, Hazard, Zaha, Wanyama etc. are all fairly recent examples of us missing out on our targets because of the aforementioned reasons. The particularly painful ones to digest are those where we haggled over a couple million pounds in wages/transfer fees.

  • If you’re willing to pony up the cash, third party negotiators become less of a factor; however we know well with Arsenal that regardless of the cash available on hand, we are just not willing to spend it.

  • Allezkev, agreed .

    on a different note, we managed to win all our games, gave all of our 24 players a decent run…a massive success this Asia tour as opposed to the mancs ahahahahhahahahahhaha nearly lost another game today had it not been for Zaha (2-2 it ended).

    can we win the Emirates cup this season ? you betcya ! i was gutted we didn’t win last season (sarcasm alert).

    17HT, where art thou ? you have been gone to long, come back !

  • A typical AW transfer negotiation:

    *Picks up phone*

    AW: “So (insert manager name here), we’d like to buy X player.”

    Manager: “Well, unfortunately we’re not looking to sell him.”

    AW: “How about for X million pounds? Would you consider that?”

    Manager: “It’s a good starting point, but not enough. Add another 5-10 million pounds and then we can start discussing.”

    AW: “Ok, I’ll add an additional 3 million pounds to my original offer, that player isn’t worth the amount of money you’re asking for.”

    Manager: “Fair enough, I’ll settle on the original offer + 5 million extra pounds since he’s our best player and there isn’t really a reason for us to sell.”

    AW: “2 million pounds more than the offer I just gave you?! Preposterous, you are trying to fleece me, I’m going to hang up right now!”

    Manager: “Well, it’s only 2 million pounds extra. As you can see, we have a better chance of staving the demotion in our league and possibly compete for a mid-table league finish or Europa league with this player. The money you are offering in return barely offsets the loss we would incur without having this player in our squad. With the earnings you accrued last year, you can definitely afford the extra 2 million pounds on top of your upgraded offer. I mean, is there something better that you are you going to use the 2 million pounds on?”

    AW: “The profits are needed to accumulate a nice fund for us to use in X amount of years. If we spend the extra 2 million pounds now, that’s 2 million less pounds that we can use in X years. Plus, it’s important for us to pay off big bonuses to management.”

    Manager: “Isn’t it more imperative to try and win the league or comfortably qualify for CL? That extra 2 million pounds can easily be recouped by achieving either one of those goals!”

    AW: “In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve qualified for CL for the past 16 years! That extra 2 million pounds could hurt us in like 10 years from now! We need that money to sign youngsters, it’s not important to win titles but to be steadily competing for years to come so we can continue our CL qualification streak. You’ll see, no one will meet your asking price and you will come back crawling to me, just begging for me to take this player off your hands once they realize the mighty Arsenal are interested in him.”

    *Hangs up phone*

    A week later…

    Mourinho/Pellegrini/Ancelotti/insert club with money here: “So (insert previous selling manager name here), we’re interested in buying X player. What’s your current valuation of this player?”

    Manager: “Well we asked Arsenal for X million + 5 million extra pounds. That’s our asking price.”

    Manager willing to spend money: “Ok, done deal. We think that’s a fair valuation and are willing to meet your asking price.”

    Manager: “Great, I’ll let the player and his agent know immediately to start discussing personal terms. Nice doing business with you.”

  • HH – That is a tire list of players you pu up for your case against?

    Mata – We could not match Chelsea at that time.
    Cahill & Michu I have no qualms about not signing .. if we were ever interested in the latter?
    Holtby wanted Spurs
    Hazard wanted Chelsea
    Wanayama for non footballing reasons, we did not bother.

    The one difference with the Saurez saga is, it seems, wants to come to Arsenal?
    Bernard on the other hand will go were his current owners send him – Fax the £22m cheque asap, I say, or you’ll have another to ad to the list?

  • Gerry, is it really pertinent to list all of the players Arsenal have missed out on over the years after reported concrete interest? The list would go on for DAYS.

    It’s disappointing that you took that small list at face value, which you have for some reason and I expected more from the likes of you. Of course, every club misses out on targets, but Arsenal’s list is definitely lengthier and more distinguished than most. You say Suarez wants to come to Arsenal – I don’t see the same thing. Suarez wants to come for money, not for Arsenal.

    Arsenal are just no longer an attractive football destination if you aspire to win titles.

  • ahahahahahahahahah, nice one HH

    was potential there to be even better though!

  • JB and AFC, and HH

    Some quick thoughts. JB and AFC, I happen to like numbers and realised quickly you were both right. Tho one perhaps righter than the other 🙂

    I ran stats on top five PL scorers last year and converted efficiency as Goals/Shots and Goals/Shots-on-Goal. Here they are ::

    RvJ: 18% and 40%
    Suarez: 12% and 31%
    Bale: 13% and 29%
    Michu: 17% and 52%
    Benteke:18% and 42%

    All had at least 100 shots…

    Interestingly, Michu, seems a gem at finishing but may not get himself as free? Or have the supporting cast?

    HH: agreed on your good points on third pArty ownership. So, a question.. A soccer career starts ever earlier and in many countries, like brazil, takes increasingly more money to get into the camps and academies etc to get noticed… Don’t you thus think we will see A LOT more of these types of players in the next decade? Ie a greater problem for Arsenal and EPL teams in general if they too don’t bring more into academies and such?

    Just a curiosity question…

    Cheers — jgc

  • @ HH and Gerry.

    Atletico Mineiro quoted “£22 Million” for Bernard – the transfer fee for the club only.
    In a 45/10/45 split with the player’s agency and BMG (third party owners), to own Bernard completely = close to £50 Million, excluding player’s wages/bonuses and extras.

    That is before any competitors upped their interest and bid for the player (e.g. Porto, Shaktar Donetsk etc). Which is one of the reasons why Dortmund opted for Mkhitaryan instead at a straight cut deal of £24.2 Million.

    Which would mean for Arsenal …. Bernard or Suarez?

    I am still relaxed in regards to transfers in/out on-goings at the club as I understand that “old habits die hard at the club and management”.

    We have sold players for more than £20 Million but never ever in the past or present bought any for more than £20 Million.

    There is our unique “Arsenal evaluation” which do not match (and is usually lower than) the real world evaluation. Nothing wrong with this approach, it is a matter of preference to be either living in reality or living in an imaginary world.

  • Sorry HH, I misunderstood you. I thought you had chosen those names because they were the most recent ones.

    Silly me, I forgot for a moment that you are in deep depression mode.

  • brilliant, JGC

    out of the lot, if you there was a way to compare their work rate (defensive) and link up play stats then it would be interesting to see where Suarez is ? (i’m expecting him to be right at the top somewhere).

    good job on the number averages !


    as usual you’re cool and calm about the whole situation, wish me and a few others had your temperament when it came to the torture window, ha

  • JB

    Perhaps what interested me most and I didn’t note is that Bale, the next coming of …, is no better than Suarez. Similar shot numbers too with 187 total for Suarez and 72 on goal, versus 165 and 73 for Bale…

    Thus, it’s down to the red mist problem and whether AW could cure it without killing the goal scoring beast within…

    Cheers — jgc

  • Gerry, it’s not all gloom and doom. Just the realization that it’s going to be a slow, painful process that will likely take another 10 years unless management structure changes. Things will have to line up perfectly somewhere down the road, I mean we can’t forever be stuck in a battle for 3rd and 4th right?

  • JM – Well it won’t be Bernie the Bolt will it? The rules don’t allow 3rd party deals here, so the whole thing about ‘deal agreed’ was indeed as AW said?

    At that rate, unless ‘Pool are using their ‘expected’ Saurez money, I cannot see them being ‘ahead in negotiations’ either.

    It would be a laugh if they went ahead, and we didn’t though?

  • I see HH, this year of new financial prosperity is not going to make any difference in AW’s final year, eh?

    Take a leaf out of JM’s book and just let the whole thing waft over you until September 2nd, and we will be able to talk you through it all?

  • Gerry, if it’s more recent names you want then Goetze, Reus, Higuain, Villa, Phil Jones, Sissoko, Amorebieta, Navas, Strootman, Lloris, Deuloufeu etc should be a good starting point in addition to the aforementioned list.

    Hey, we might not have had concrete interest in everyone on that list so it could very well be the media contorting our “interest” in players in the transfer market, but it doesn’t get any better when you look at all the clubs around us strengthening, in addition to their internal improvements.

  • JGC,

    that is it but i get the impression that AW is confident of working his magic and helping Suarez in becoming a legend, if anyone can take his game a notch further up then it has to be Wenger.

    TV needs to be on the phone to his old mate and should encourage him to hand in a request.

    PS: apologies TA for ruining your article and discussing other things.

  • Possibly Gerry, the names remaining to be rumoured available are not too enticing for me. However, players often become available at a moment’s notice, so anything is possible. So many top players have already moved this off-season though, so the list of players that may actually be attainable shrinks even more.

    Suarez at 50 mil is just not worth it. He’s a great player but we need help at so many positions that I can’t see AW spending what’s remaining of our funds after such a big purchase to adequately address those areas.

    Catch my drift?

  • so if we miss out on Suarez then who else can we go for considering we got the power (financial).

    Ibrahimovic ?

    would he like to stay at PSG and play 2nd fiddle to Cavani or would he prefer to move ? he will be a great addition to our team and can give us 2 good seasons at the top i reckon.

    JM should know the finer details – re agents e.t.c and all that but yeah like HH said, not many options available apart from that (or ones i can think of striker wise)

  • wow, so apparently Bale wants to leave spuds (don’t blame him).

    if it goes through then the transfer fee would be very very interesting as Spuds have quoted RM 103 million and guess what ? RM have reportedly offered 86 million di Maria, that’s sick if true

    85 million for Bale is a fair trade but to get more than that plus Di maria is madness.

  • Which was exactly my original point as to why Saurez was the best bet … there are few alternatives.

    Ibram did not like us in another lifetime – so No. ..And he is older!

    Value will not be known until we see what he can produce. I think he will make a big difference to our whole set up, players, and most importantly, results?

    Let see if it happens, eh?

  • Gerry, I can still write but it’s strange to press space with my opposite thumb. 😉 It’s not that bad. Just the cast is annoying. Haven’t been on much today as I’m working on my next post a little.
    JB, Spurs adding Di Maria would be bad even if they lose Bale. Also Spurs with over £80 mil to spend would be very bad.

  • Suarez reminds me of the player Eduardo could have been for us. He could pass, shoot dribble, and had great technique. He just never recovered from the worst injury I have EVER seen in sports. I thought his foot was going to twist right off!!! Just thought I’d throw that comparison out there 😀

  • Dylan,

    my thoughts exactly.


    wow, that’s a great comparison and yes, sadly what could have been was not to be with poor Eduardo.

  • ………………..BK WAGS ( WIVES & GIRLFRIENDS ) !!!!………………..











    MRS HH SAYS : ” I bought two and gave him both barrels of the Benders ! ”

    MRS VAN FLOPPEN KLOMPENSTEIN SAYS : ” Totsie loved my Suarez onesie, it gave him something to get his teeth into ! ”

    MRS VCC SAYS : ” I mixed it up a bit and got a QPR onesie with a Giroud mask, but the senile old git still stands by the toilet with toilet paper rolls on his cock ! ”

    MRS TRANSPLANTS EVIL PUSSY SAYS : ” Meow meow meow purrrrrrrrrrr ! ”

    ………..# HURRY WHILST STOCKS LAST #……………………………..

  • I think 007 put up the link below, well I put a comment below it, but it never came out of moderation !. I wonder why ?. A clue will be if you look at the authors name !. I think you can probably imagine of some of the details of my comment about a twat who gives no credibility to an article which fails to name any of the imaginary friends Cesc has told about his desire to play for the Manscum bags !. hahaha


  • wtf ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahah

  • Real Madrid have had their first bid rejected for Bale i have been told.

    good good, take your time you tWQELO$!2!!! as usual make them sweat , Levy (good on you son, good on you) a repeat of Modric deal be perfect !

  • while we’re at it, David Luiz to Barca expected to happen soon (barca will need funds i reckon – minus Cesc + Luiz ) ?

  • I don’t know if you listen to talkSPORT 007, but a lot of the chat was that Bale was going to sign a one year extension to his current contract on the proviso that he can go to RM next season !. This is a gamble by the Spuds imo as will he have a better season than last year ?, if he doesn`t then his fee will be less than it is now !. As good a player as he is, imo, teams will be a bit more cute this season and a few will work him out, not forgetting referees have his card marked for the gold medal diving !.

  • no Glics, i don’t listen to talksport , however, this is exactly what was agreed upon last year with Bale and his reps hence he agreed to sign the contract (same case as Suarez, ditto minus the clauses inserted in Suarez).

    now the situation is similar with both as both want to leave for ventures new in a bigger club and CL playing club…i don’t expect bale to start the new season as a spud.

    good points though, and all agreed

  • to add to the above ,

    re- teams figuring him out and marking better then i don’t think that will be the case , quite simply because when he makes those runs at you towards goal and if you get it wrong then it’s a free kick in a dangerous area and the fker has a lethal left foot and is a very decent free kick taker.

    so teams might be able to stop his runs by fouling him (which many made the mistake of doing , however it still resulted in a goal due to his freekicks)

    he’ll do well in Spain i reckon.

  • The referees in Spain are a lot stricter than the ones in the Premier League. I for one don’t like it, but that’s just my opinion. Everything over there is a foul.

  • oh yeah, that’s true

    and it’s so obvious when teams like Barca play in the CL , it’s like they are made of glass

  • JB, I can understand why Bale would leave Spurs. How will they get into the top 4, let alone challenge for the title. They just do not have the quality or depth (if you thought our bench was bad you should see theirs 😀 I think the likes of Arshavin and Bendtner would have made their bench).

    So the burden is on Bale to create and score goals out of nothing. Adebayor will hardly score, Defoe may get a decent amount and Lennon doesn’t score much either.

  • JGC from earlier,

    Certainly troubling times indeed ahead for Arsenal in terms of difficulties negotiating fees with third parties!

    The issue isn’t whether or not the money is there, but whether or not we’ll ever have a manager/board willing to spend it!

  • AFC,

    the lower the fkers finish in the league the greater joy and pleasure it gives me and most of us gooners, if not all i reckon

    to be honest, i couldn’t care less about them, the only reason why i was following them over the last 2/3 years was basically forced upon by our own Arsenal…hopefully they are no where near us from now on and for the next 100 years at least, ha

  • Forgot to add, Paulinho may score 10 plus. He is supposed to be the Lampard of Brazil but has no EPL experience.

  • Enjoyable read once again, TA. While I rarely comment i find myself checking BK religiously due to the excellent writing, atmosphere, and (most of all) the obvious passion for such a legendary club.

    Like I said, I usually sit back and watch from the bleachers but I needed to voice my frustration after that unnecessarily painful match against the reds. Granted our boys came out with the win (cheers, chuba), while facing a surprisingly organized j-league defense, the game should have been put to bed in the opening 15. Had our self-appointed superstar been even the slightest bit lethal, surely he wouldve registered his first hatrick of the new season (and then some). Really disappointed with our number 14’s decision making, insistence on taking set pieces (with no substance to back up this insistence), and general selfishness.

    Was also hoping to see more of our little gem in zelalem too but Walcott’s wastefulness actually provided an interesting opportunity to see how he handled a bit more pressure. At 1-1 URD pressed us hard and I’d say the kid handled it quite well, despite one instance of turning it over in the middle of the park which looked certain that we would concede only to be saved by the masterful Laurent. This, I am not too worried about and will simply attribute to his slight frame that will surely improve.

    Overall, enjoyable pre season and our unbeaten run continues… But clearly this game puts to bed any notion that this is a “title winning” squad and we must pray that our transfer dealings come to fruition.

  • Paulinho !….. sounds like a Brazilian transvestite to me !, I`ll will have to confirm it with our alex !.

  • Not too sure about Bendtner and Arshavin making their bench, AFC. Spuds actually have good potential in their squad too, but it will be a massive obstacle to overcome if they lose Bale. Injuries took a massive toll on them last season and they had to deal with integrating more new players than us! Holtby, Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele, Dempsey and Sigurdsson.

    This season with the additions of Paulinho and Chadli, along with healthier players in Assou-Ekotto, Sandro, Dembele etc. they should definitely be a stronger side.

  • Soldado could be on his way to Spuds as Valencia have claimed the prospect of him leaving is real and the search for his replacement has begun.

  • Why the f*ck did we reject Roma’s £8mil offer for Gervinho? No one is going to f*cking pay £12 mil for that flop! Once again, we could have sold a player for relatively market value but instead will hold onto him for another year or two when his contract is bought out or is sold for pennies!

  • it wasn’t 8 i think,

    6.8 million is what they offered after starting at about 5’ish

    we wanted 8.8 .

    i think we will sell him for about 7.5 mills, fair deal.

  • 8.5 is what we’re asking them to pay.

    he’ll go i reckon, he’ll go.

  • He better go JB, AW just confirmed he’ll be keeping Miyachi with the squad this season so I guess he’ll be taking Gervinho’s squad spot

  • to say it’s scary is an understatement, it’s frighteningly scary.

    the price you have to pay in the name of last minute “Bargains” may strike again (i hope not).

    Ryo could do with a loan move i feel, that would be more beneficial to him, instead of warming the bench or being a fringe squad player…he was unlucky with his injury but a similar loan deal suits us, very much.

  • re- Suarez

    a 3rd offer is ready to be made and submitted tomorrow (3rd time lucky)…source : Guardian.

  • So come on gays…sorry guys…what SQ is realistically left after Suarez ?….list please !.
    As far as I know we have bid for Higgy, L Bender, Rooney (?), Jovetic(?) and Suarez, didn`t bother for whatever nubskull reason for Goetze and Isco !. Who does it leave ? as you say, it`s getting wafer thin !. I can only think of Bernard as a semi-SQ and we`ll probably let that one slip away !.

  • What after all them years ago when he was at Arsenal but refused to play in a trial match !. Cant see that one 007 !. Unless he finally accepts the trial !. hahaha

  • hahahah, you never know in football , Glics

    but hey if we fail to sign Suarez for 40 mills then we should buy him for 40 quid (bargain i reckon)..

  • Glic, I assume you mean SQ strikers left? Not positions other than striker?

  • He does say he has had trouble keeping up with with what has been going on while away on tour and has not been able to get hold of people. I think next few days Wenger will be on the ball and will want to get some business done, he also says it has been other clubs stopping us from signing rather then us not trying. Anyway as soon as he is home that will be his his all and everything and i am confident the boss will get us some gems 🙂

  • Good evening guys! 🙂

    Sorry have been busy all day with no time to write a post. Have to say I am bit disappointed about reading so little about our game and so much again about all the endless transfer gossip.

    Welcome to Frozen Gunner and thanks for a fine opening comment. All agreed re Theo, but he will get sharper, I hope! 🙂

    Really knackered, so will leave you transfer gossip addicts with something to think about! 😀

    I prefer movies.
    I prefer cats.
    I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
    I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
    I prefer myself liking people
    to myself loving mankind.
    I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
    I prefer the color green.
    I prefer not to maintain
    that reason is to blame for everything.
    I prefer exceptions.
    I prefer to leave early.
    I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
    I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
    I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
    to the absurdity of not writing poems.
    I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
    that can be celebrated every day.
    I prefer moralists
    who promise me nothing.
    I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
    I prefer the earth in civvies.
    I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
    I prefer having some reservations.
    I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
    I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
    I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
    I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
    I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
    I prefer desk drawers.
    I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
    to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
    I prefer zeroes on the loose
    to those lined up behind a cipher.
    I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
    I prefer to knock on wood.
    I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
    I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
    that existence has its own reason for being.

    – Wislawa Szymborska

  • I like cats…and dogs hahahahahaha 😀 But I know what you are getting at with that post…There are a lot more important things to worry about than who Arsenal might sign next! 😀 With my Mom being really sick, I have realized this more than ever!!! She’s doing much better now!!! 😀

  • In a source Wenger has said we are not close to signing anyone and it is very unlikely that and deals will be completed before the Emirates Cup.

    We are surely leaving it a bit late to sign 3,4 players quality players. I am trusting Wenger to make the right signings. Am I delusional, maybe. 😀

  • Sorry TA, had I known there was no match report, I would’ve written one as Gerry demanded earlier! 😉 But there will be a treat in your mailbox soon. 🙂

  • Morning guys and a beautiful one it is! 😛

    Milo, really good to read your mum is doing much better now; that must have been quite a scare for you!

    I have enjoyed your recent comments both from a footie-insight and philosophical point of view. Keep it up as your inputs often enrich the blog.

    AFC – the lack of signings is frustrating and Wenger will no doubt surprise us again. Let’s hope for him and us that he’ll get it right. But the boys have been playing some good football, and ultimately, that is why we support Arsenal: 11 men in red and white fighting for the cause! 🙂

  • Dylan – you are the MAN! 😛

    Many thanks for producing another post. I will have a look at it in a bit and get it published. Top stuff. 🙂

  • New Post New Post 🙂

    Strawberry fields forever!

    Let Dylan make you feel good about Arsenal again in a fantastically upbeat, and well-reasoned post! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s