Arsenal Have Seven Pogbas

One of the best moments of our friendly against Man City was the loving hugs between Arsene and Pep in front of the camera before the match started. Those were for you oh Special One! It was to say, we love each other and we do not love you, Jose bully boy hahaha. 😀

Klopp and Wenger did the same by jointly criticising the absurdity of spending £90m or so in transfer fees alone on 23 year old Pogba. The translator is so easy to wind up and he did already respond, and he will keep doing this for quite a while, which is great news.

Slowly but steadily, Jose Mourinho is coming to the end of his top club trainer’s career. No one likes him in Spain anymore.. many bridges are burnt there; his arrogance and self-adoration would not go down well in Germany and Bayern are too classy a club to have him anyway; and he is only still working in England because the Mancs are desperate to move away from mid-table mediocracy.

Guardiola opted for their bitter rivals and Klopp for Pool, equally loved by the Mancunians, and Arsene they cannot get. So they go for a manager who only lasts three seasons on average at a club, upsets players continuously, brings the club regularly in disrepute and was heading for relegation with the Chavs until he was unceremoniously sacked. It was a desperate move and a huge gamble by the Mancs, but I have been told by a few of their supporters that they will now finally start playing attacking football again… Muhahaha 😀

JM has been given an eye watering budget and he is never scared to spend it. You have to give him that. The previous MU managers have left a hole in the midfield as big as Mourinho’s ego. In the meantime, we have developed Coquelin and Rambo (best PL player during the Euros) into quality midfielders and have added two versatile and very talented midfielders, Elneny and Xhaka, for less than half of the Pogba budget. On top of that, we have the experienced and versatile Carzorla fighting for a place in midfield, and if Jack could stay fit this season he could easily become the next best thing. And to top it all off, we have one Mesut Ozil.. the King of Assists wearing the mighty colours of red and white. How many Pogbas is that? ‘Ahhh’, says the self-adoring one, ‘but you are not big enough to be able to spend £90m like we just did – nananananana’. Wenger and Klopp must be having such a good time right now.

I have no doubt that Pogba can become a very good player, but it all remains to be seen whether he will live up to the expectations. And what sort of midfielder is he anyway? B2B, CM, ‘Midwinger’, nr10? You tell me. Is he worth all that money? For a while it will make the Mancs look like they are still a big club and I guess that is what it is all about, but it is a desperate move by a desperate club and clown of a manager.

For what it is worth, I have no doubt that Arsenal could spend big again if the right player becomes available. After all, in the top ten of the most expensive PL purchases two are Gunners.

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9972707/top-10-most-expensive-british-transfers-of-all-time

I know many fellow Gooners are desperate to spend some freaking money, but it will only make a difference if it is used wisely. After all, the majority of those most expensive PL purchases have not lived up to their expectation: Di Maria, Torres, Mata, Sterling, Carroll anybody?

In the meantime, let’s enjoy the fact that we are becoming stronger every season by a combination of developing our own top players, like Bellerin, Rambo and hopefully Iwobi, add quality by clever purchases, like Elneny, Monreal and Cech, and add super quality when the right players become available, like Alexis, Ozil and hopefully Xhaka.

The only way is the Arsenal way – let’s be proud of it.

By TotalArsenal

 

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57 Responses to Arsenal Have Seven Pogbas

  1. Cradle says:

    That’s sense spoken onto his head and discipline follows next as we hope so.

  2. Soulcricket says:

    Be careful if you make sense as an Arsenal fan they’ll come after you

  3. Boyd says:

    Great post. I would enjoy watching Iwobi grow into a super star than buying back ur own product for 100 million quid after letting him go for free.

    Manure is desperate while Arsenal is steadily growing.

    Ya Gunners Ya.

  4. I no ur right but what we want now is striker ad CD or if we can get mahrez

  5. Shard says:

    I haven’t seen very much of Pogba. A year or so ago I was hoping Arsenal would buy him because honestly he looks like a real talent. But…and it is a big but (I cannot lie) he doesn’t look like a great player yet. As you say, what is he. A DM, B2B, AM.. I suppose the upside is that he can be all you need him to be. However, I’m struggling to get myself worked up about this.

    Pogba is one of those players who has spent years being hyped by the media where it becomes self evident that they are ‘world class’. May be he will be, but is Mourinho even going to get the best out of home or just use him like a workhorse? Guess we’ll see, but this appears to be far more a case of a ‘brand’ signing rather than a pure football one. But I suppose with Mourinho it’s almost always the way where he’ll buy the most expensive players his favoured agents can offer. If I’m jealous of anyone in this it’s Mino Raiola. A cool 40m of ManU’s money , minus ‘expenses’ of course.

    City have gone quietly about their business and have made some very good signings, on paper at least. Still unsure about Guardiola and how he’ll adapt to both England, and having some inferior players when compared to his past clubs. There’s something ‘off’ about Pep though. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Mourinho, but I just have this nagging doubt about his persona. But Arsene seems to like him, based on not just that pre match handshake, but also how he talks about him in press conferences. His face almost lights up.

    And you know, I said this elsewhere before the Euros, but I think Arsene is going to really enjoy testing himself against the best managers. This evoked anger as to what evidence I’ve got when he’s never beaten Mourinho etc, but that was a different Arsenal. He’s now once again talking about how this is the ‘world championship of managers’ and he’s talked in the past about wanting an opponent to be at their strongest rather than weak. I think Arsene the competitor will enjoy this season.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers, Cradle, Soul and Boyd 🙂

    Boyd, I am also hopeful that Iwobi is the bee’s knees and will make further progress this season.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Shard, it is a brand signing and Mourinho could easily ruin his progress if not used properly… he may turn him into DM… 😛

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    I like Guardiola and I reckon he is top. But he will have to show to us all how good he really is by making the MC squad play his way: no doubt his biggest challenge yet!

    I have a feeling he will take our from Wenger at some point in the future. Wenger will do another two to three years at the club and I could see Pep take over then. The club would fit him like a glove and London is a lot nicer for a cosmopolitan … 🙂

  9. Amit Dawett says:

    Pogba is going to be a great player. But the points made about our midfield are also great. We have much more flexibility and variety with the players we have now.

    Any one know if gnabry will be back involved in the first team this season? Wenger has been unfairly criticised by the u21 coach on how he has handled him . Which is baffling considering wenger brought him back from West brom got him match fit, game time with the u21’s and then allowed him to play in a competitive tournament for Germany. He was more match fit than any of the arsenal team so why have him play in these friendlies when he can play at a larger event and he is excelling. Doesn’t help when you have turd media picking up on untrue stories

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Amit

    He is doing well in Rio and I would imagine Wenger will keep him in the wider squad till at least January

  11. dennis afia says:

    Great one, JM is a bl**dy f**king son of a b**ch…article of no commercial value. Is not about throwing money around is about doing d right buy. Let’s wait and see what becomes of him as we proceed

  12. Diagram says:

    There was a point when Gnabry was our young, first-team-goal-scoring winger before Iwobi and was Germany’s next big thing before Leroy Sane. Injury is a b*tch.

  13. St. Henry says:

    Great post TA! 🙂 Here’s hoping that Chambers and Holding join that list of excellent players whose performances and talents are not appropriately reflected by the size of their transfer fees.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes StH, that would be great. It seems really hard to develop a young CB into a great CB at a top club… These are usually bought..

    How do you feel about the Johnny Evans rumours?

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey TA, keep ’em coming… I can hardly keep up with them but I like it… 😀

    Also, good job, Shard, on the previous post, of fighting the good fight with my friend, Admir. He’ll come around and trot out those ‘arguments’ and others if results don’t go according to plan…the plan being 114 points in the league and winning those other three tournaments… I think it’s his way of keeping his hopes under check… We all have to do what we can to take our expectations down a peg so we can enjoy the football… More smileys

    Regarding this post, Pogba would seem a lot of eggs in a single basket except that ManU also has a guy who many of us coveted and disappointed mightily last season, the other tall(ish) French MF, Schneiderlin. That he couldn’t outplay Michael Carrick says something about both players (we underrate Carrick mostly because he was a Spur, I think). Frankly, I think one of the more interesting things to watch in the Moo-U MF is how Josee will use Juan Mata, a player he sold…(Frozen out and sold in January is my guess if MK-tarian can get and keep fit…) There’s also a lot of talk about Rooney playing tucked in behind Ibrahimovic but I think he’ll play at least as deep a(n) (average) position as Pogba. In the end it’s a bit of a galatico world up there, but I wonder about the cohesion of the parts and it sure would be fun if it came unglued sooner than later. Like you say, Moo certainly isn’t worried about spending too much, so best to treat it all in good fun, I think…

    Regarding the previous post–which ties into this one if we’re discussing other greater Manc area managers–Pep’s tinkering–at least in the friendly–seemed quite extreme and my bet is that he plays a more normalized set-up in these August matches. Three at the back could be fun, esp. given the Pogba-esque money spent to get Stones from Everton. (Better have Bac Sagna tucked in for mop up work…) In truth, I haven’t watched nor even researched anything about Liverpool heading into the opener but their result against Barca may serve to do that expectation lowering thing for many Gooners…

    Whatever it takes and desperate measures for desperate times…My hope is that we can boss the MF even if we don’t go for an insane quantity of possession and mostly try to press and break… Cech will want to be a vocal presence with whatever CBs we have but my bet is that ALL our nominally defensive minded MFs start (Xhaka, Le Coq, Eleneny & Ramsey) and that they will still want and expect help from the front players (Alexis?, Theo?)… I’d try to find a way to slip Santi into the mix but it seems AW isn’t sure he can go 90… We’ll see, but at least it’s for real now, and, by dint of the alphabet, we’re top of the table as long as we perform as Admir demands…

  16. allezkev says:

    Hi Total, interesting post mate…

    Talking of rumours, have you heard the one linking Arsenal with a bid for Wilfried Bony for £30m..?

    Paul Pogba, what’s he on, some £260,000 per week..?!
    Half a million a fortnight, a million a month, his agent on a reported £20m commission…
    Jumpers for goalposts eh?

    I can’t escape from a worrying feeling that the game that I love is suffering from some kind of self-inflicted illness…
    Yeah, I want Arsene to be more ambitious in the transfer market, do his business a bit earlier than deadline day, but if Paul Pogba is worth a £100 million, then football really has gone insane…

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Seventeenho ⚽️😀

    Good comment and agreed that The Ex-Spud is a quality player.

    Am watching the USA ladies v Colombia Ladies 2-1 with five minutes to go. 😀

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    The Oilers have spoilt it, Kev, and the traditional giants are trying to match the. madness. I bet Pogba, Rooney, Ibrahimovic and that other fella are on £1m per week together… £50m a year. May it never glue together.

    Oops 2-2, superb equaliser from a fierce free kick

  19. Jnyc says:

    T, you are funny,

    Asking about Guardiolas outfit in last post…. you know i actually did really make note of it!
    Just from memory…..Dark colors, lightweight (probably spring weight cashmere )crew neck top probably very expensive. …
    with skinny jeans cut, but maybe not denim pants, possibly incotex from Italy. low waist, no belt?

    My impression was that he was going for a very youthful look.

    He will feel much older when he realizes that for the second coaching “challenge” in a row, there will be no champions league trophy without MESSI.

  20. Jnyc says:

    And by the way… love the title and post.

    I think that Pogba may turn out to be an above average player, but probably never going to dominate the game,,, certainly not to that kind of price level.

  21. Shard says:

    It’s funny TA. I had the same thought when Arsene and Pep were in conversation after the game. Arsenal will have a productive academy system after the revamp from a couple of years ago, great facilities, a great first team (hopefully), an established style of play close to his preferred style, and likely, money in the bank to get the few big signings required.

    Pep meanwhile, will have proven himself outside of the two best teams in the world, will have learnt about England and English football, and might even want to settle down for a longer time at a club. It might prove to be an easy transition. Especially with Arteta coming back (love struck eyes emoticon)

  22. Gerry says:

    Late with my contribution, but here goes …
    Q – Why are we discussing this overblown, ego driven, excuse for a manager of another club?
    A – Diversion away from the end of the last post perhaps?

    A few known frailties of the Moo-man: He is a clique manager, so the first thing he does is get rid of those who might challenge his rulership of that clique. No surprise then that the first out of the door was Ryan Giggs? Schweini is another who might have a strong voice in the dressing room. About to go. Mata has already upset him in a previous life, but I fear he is due a bit of humiliation before he goes … unless somebody rescues him before September.
    That is his style, so I find it somewhat amusing that he should make his marquee signing on someone like Pogba. A player, at a young age told Ferguson ‘You don’t play me, I’m leaving’, and now as a 23 year old, he did not come rushing to Man U, but kept them waiting until all was signed. I think he is quite capable of standing up to Moo, and should he see through all of Moo’s mind games and posturing, he will tell him so?
    If push comes to shove, what will Man U do? Sell the player that they have invested £190m(BBC, with extras and salary) over the next 5 years? Or get rid of the waste of space, who may only cost them £10m to cancel his contract?
    Watch this space …. 😀

    On Pogba as a player. He is seriously good, but I am not sure he is a player to build a team around. He is a bit of a maverick, and that is like building a house on a flexible base?

    Kev – I would not think Bony is in the mix, but Mangala at a similar fee should/could be, if they would sell to a rival? He looked shaky at times last season, but another team, another year on, who knows? We were interested once before if I remember rightly.

    As for for Jonny Evans?I think he is more likely to turn us down due to his Man U connections. After all, he hardly went to W.Brom for the money, so I doubt that will turn his head.
    Like most, at Man U he always looked like a penalty waiting to happen. But when I saw him in the N.Ireland game at the Euros, he looked a very composed CD, and not at all a bad buy at £16m? However, I think he may stay in the West Midlands.

    That is me done, have a nice day ..
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  23. njk84sg says:

    Guys, I know that Pogba is not going to carry the team, like he doesn’t in the Euros.

    However, i am not at all pleased about not quickly bring in those that we need to patch the holes.

    We can bring in one in the final day of the TW, but no way that is going to quell the riots that is going to happen if we have an off day this Sunday.

    Someone sack the guys in charge of doing the talking to get the players in?

    JK

  24. njk84sg says:

    I know that we have fantastic players, but we have a whole squad full of good midfielders, and we play in a league that we cannot play a false 9 without someone who finishes well.

    So, we need a striker.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey JNYC 🙂

    I remembered he came into your shop in NY once or twice and spontaneously wondered whether his style of cloth would have your approval. The term ‘spring weight cashmere’ tells me you know your stuff. 😉

    Agreed that he needs a messi, but Aguero is still pretty good as well. The reality is he needs to build a team there and make them play total football his way, which will not be easy.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Shard at 6.35….. it just sounds too plausible to not be right. 🙂

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting thought, Gerry, that Pogba may be the Trojan Horse to eventually oust the Special One. Like it. 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    84, you should expand on your last comment. At the moment it is not making much sense to me. Why cannot we play a false nr9, and why do we need a new striker desperately when we just saw that Alexis can be a good alternative to Ollie. It will leave us with young and talented back up in Akpom, Iwobi and Ox, and Theo of course, until Welbeck returns. And maybe Gnabry can make a difference this season too. Wenger will add but not because we are desperate for it.

  29. St Henry says:

    TA – my views on johnny Evans are there same as Gerry’s. If they do go for him it seems to me that it will be a temporary solution. And that goes against the reason that Wenger had been providing for taking his time with signings (need a top player, long term, etc.). Not sure if we are at the point where we can say there was no alternative and we had to buy.
    One aspect that did strike me was how much we took the Per-Kos partnership for granted. The number of goals conceded had steadily declined since Per’s arrival. His absence is probably going to affect us more than the absence of a striker I feel. The plan was a decent one (to groom holding and chambers) but the injury curse…😕

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers, StH 🙂

    I don’t think many took the BFG-Koz partnership for granted on BK, but I know what you mean. It looks like Bielik will also be groomed into a CB. We are now at risk of losing all our experienced CBs with so much pressure on Koz, so for me Evans would be a welcome addition. But I don’t mind a longer term solution of quality either. 😉

  31. njk84sg says:

    I know Alexis is able to be a finisher, but we need a supplier to replace him at left wing. Iwobi is good, but he gets overpowered in big games last season.

    For the first few games, and boy are they tough ones, we need the strongest squad possible, not because we do not have the ability to win games, but we need veteran players to get the team going.

    If you guys think that a good preseason means a good start, take a good look at last season. We were overconfident and we had ourselves ripped apart.

    If this season still happens like that more people will say bad things about the team and question more about the transfer policy.

    JK

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    If you want senior, we play Sanchez up front, Rambo and Theo on the wings and Cazorla in the hole… job done.

    It will come good, 84, don’t you worry. 🙂

  33. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Very interesting post and comment.. that’s why I love this blog.. hehehe..

    It’s a very unique and crazy story about Pogba.. if Stupidity is not the correct word.. Never in a history of football.. such silly thing happened.. You buy your own player for 100 millions.. hehehehe.. I think Ferguson must rethink about his genius as a manager.. hahaha..

    About Mou.. I don’t know what on his mind.. Maybe he want to tell Ferguson or Van Gaal that the players they bought weren’t good enough.. hehehe..
    I feel sorry for Mata.. maybe he must return to Chelsea again.. hahaha.
    Young and Valencia must also look for a new club..

    Rashford is another player who will suffered from Mou’s action.. His time will be very limmitted.. Januzaj and Wilson also..
    And for this situation.. Our youngster must thank Wenger for his way of life about talents.. or maybe almost all players.. hehehe.. Because Wenger is a ‘father’ kind of manager.. He always give his players chance, believe and time..
    We.. the fans.. who sometime getting mad with his way.. hehehe..
    And if this year is the last year for Wenger.. then the youngsters must do their very best.. because you never know.. Mou can be our Manager as some fans dream of.. hahaha..

    JK.. About CB.. We won’t see anyone soon.. believe me.. Wenger will continue with his team untill the last day of TW.. If Bielik, Holding and Chambers can do their job well then no other CB will come.. I recommend Coquelin as our CB.. he is more CB than DM for me.. hehehe..
    Although Wenger wanted more heigh player like Bielik and Holding to overcome some long ball..

    And for a striker.. I believe Asano is a great deal.. He and Gnabry will make our forward stronger soon after they back from Rio..
    Somebody know something about Sanogo..??

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Henry, it would be so much fun if Asano would score 15-20 PL goals this season… Not going to happen but what a laugh we would have… 😀

  35. Shard says:

    Does Asano have a work permit?

  36. henrychan says:

    Yes TA.. Asano may score 15 goals or more if he get enough time playing.. hehehe.. Asian players aren’t bad.. nowaday Japanese, Korean and even China have an equal quality player as Euro, South America or Africa.. hehehe..

    Shard.. Don’t know about his permit.. but I hope it is done..

  37. allezkev says:

    Shard, some guy on Twitter, called Renato (?) had tweeted 6 days ago, that Asano has got a work permit…

    But I’ve heard zilch from any other reliable source…

  38. Shard says:

    Thanks kev

  39. Jnyc says:

    I love your optimism TA, but i can’t help but be annoyed by Arsene sometimes.
    There’s nothing wrong with being proactive about a vital position like cb. When Per went down to injury, we should’ve realized that he’s nearing the end of his tenure anyway, and try buy with future in mind.. a german international with great stats might have been nice.
    I’m sure Chelsea or any other team will outbid us at this point. Big club, London, if we had a chance, we should have made a strong offer weeks ago. I hope Arsene proves to be right, i won’t mind.

    But i can’t fault the Arsene haters who are screaming that it’s madness to go into the opening match with this cb situation. Liverpool arent at our class, but one mistake at the back, and we’ll be fighting for 1 point instead of an opening victory.
    Klopp will have them so motivated, they will be playing out of their skins to start their first full season for him, and he will be preaching for them to pressure our central defense relentlessly.
    Something should have been done. It was very short sighted, almost irresponsible, even if we come out of it ok. I dont want to start another long season at a disadvantage again.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    You have got a point, Johnnie.

    Let’s see how Wenger sorts the CBs out. Anyway, with Xhaka, Elneny and Rambo in midfield we will keep the Dippers well away from our CBs 😜

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    HeheheheHenry, it’s something to be a good Asian field player, but to be a successful striker in the PL is of another magnitude.

  42. retsub1 says:

    Good to see the blog picking up again. Looking forward to the new season., BUT am absolutely terrified if Kos isn’t recalled for Sunday and we start with two inexperienced centre backs. Yes we have great defensive midfield options, but Liverpool have hungry forwards trying to prove themselves.

    Don’t want to be the miserable sod in a sea of optimism, but this is looking very much like last season when we got Cech early and then nothing. I think everyone knew that Coquelin needed support. Imagine how different last season might have been if we had got Elneny (or similar) earlier instead of relying on two semi fit older players. We have known for ages that Per is out (and slowing up) and Kos wasn’t intended to start the season. Surely we should have got someone by now. Personally I don’t think we should have been starting the season with Gabriel as our senior centre back anyway.

    If we lose on Sunday and the likes of Chambers screwup, Wenger will get a torrent of abuse and it will create negative vibes in the squad.

    Sorry rant over and I have said this before, but I feel really strongly about this

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s not without risk and far from ideal, Retsubster. Let’s see how Wenger will deal with this.

    How are your Spud mates feeling about the season?

  44. retsub1 says:

    My Spud mate is very quiet I think he realises it’s going to be even tougher this season to recreate what they did last season. I used to work with a guy who was chairman of the Spurs supporters club. Possibly the most biased spud on the planet. Google Daniel Wynne and you will get an idea

  45. retsub1 says:

    Sorry meant to say search u tube

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    What a dick, Retsub. Thanks for giving me a laugh. ⚽️

  47. njk84sg says:

    Retsub1, high-five over the rant.. I was ranting yesterday and you followed it up. Somehow TA still kept his cool :D.

    You can be a biased Gooner to go against the biased spud. Way to go :).

    JK

  48. Shard says:

    Jnyc

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you regarding Liverpool, but I must say that this line of attack on Arsenal is new. It is no longer enough to buy in the transfer window. Now we must have our own deadline of the season starting. And of course, you can’t buy someone a day before. You need to give them time to settle down and train with the team, so you need at least two weeks for that. So essentially, Arsenal’s deemed transfer window should be one month shorter than it really is. Which doesn’t seem like a very good thing to me, unless there’s an ideal situation that all the players you want are attainable by that time.

  49. Jnyc says:

    Good points Shard, especially regarding a possible striker/attacking player. I’m sure we could get by until september, but the CB situation was really rolling the dice once Mertesacker went down. We have had weeks to make a move, maybe sweeten, improve an offer in that area.
    Gabriel unforseen, of course, but what if he stayed healthy and koscielny was the one to pick up even a small injury in training this week, Would be much worse. Too risky for my blood, considering Per will eventually need to be replaced anyway.
    I think Koscielny will play this sunday, but I’m tired of risking the vital start to the season because of a patched together central defense. This league is already super competetive, and I’m sick of starting at a disadvantage.
    I am a Arsene fan, but he does annoy the hell out of me at times.

  50. Shard says:

    jnyc

    But what if the holdup with say the Mustafi deal is that Valencia are looking to sign a replacement before they let him go? Do we go for someone we feel is less good, and less of a long term solution, for the sake of one or two games?

    It’s difficult now that Gabriel is injured but playing our 3rd and 4th choice Cbs in a game is hardly disastrous. They are in the squad to be used precisely in such situations.

    As it is, I expect Monreal to start at CB next to Chambers.

  51. Gerry says:

    All good points above. Re the latter; Shard is right, Valencia are after the Man C guy, Mangala I mentioned yesterday. If that deal goes through, then presumably ours will … at a little extra cost.

    Striker wise, it is looking bleak. Mahrez was reported to have told both parties he was ready to leave if an acceptable bid was forthcoming. No bid from Arsenal was forthcoming! Very easy for Ranieri to whisper in his ear and say ‘look they don’t really want you that badly’.
    Now after we play Leicester, and a bid close, or above £40m might change things?

    Saying in public that we only want Lew or Greiz is not AW’s way. But let us see what the fall out is? Lew would fit very nicely if he is looking for a change? BIG ‘IF’!

    Retsub! – Which would you prefer: lose 3, may be 6 points at the start of the season with still 36 games to go, and have Koscielny available for most of them …
    Or play him semi fit when we know he has an ongoing lumber problem that can reoccur at any moment, apart from any injury he may get through a mis-time tackle, and then be on-off throughout the season?

    Not our decision, but he is NOT playing on Sunday. Stop knocking Chambers, he can do a decent job if well supported by our overflowing DM’s. In fact we could go three at the back with Bielik to keep them nice and compact? It is still early season, not 3 weeks from the end.
    Don’t Panic! – ref HHGTTG
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  52. njk84sg says:

    Unless Mahrez can play up front, I do not think that he will add much to our overflowing midfielders. Or left side, if we move Alexis up front for the start of the season, then dropping back to cater for Ollie.

    If Wenger – or anyone in the club – is looking at this blog, please do not drag your foot. Good and stealth deals are always done quickly.

    We cannot un-see that our first opponents have a strong strike force. So, we must add defensively. Nacho in CB with Holding or Le Coq looks a good combination, as Chambers has big game jitters. However, we need to pair Elneny with Xhaka and tie Xhaka to the defenders in order to have a strong defence.

    I have no issues in attack, and the lineup that TA threw at me is what I wanted.

    JK

  53. Gerry says:

    JK, I think you are missing the point about Mahrez, he does score goals as we as assists?

    Anyway, the immediate concern looks to be easing, if not before the ‘Pool game, but possibly the Leicester one later in the week. Yes we know about all the time it takes to get a back 4 settled, but we have that problem anyway. Mustafi agreeing personal terms is the first step, but Arsenal being Arsenal, they are still haggling to get him on the cheap. Always a danger that someone could nip in and pay the asking price? My guess is it will end up being an ‘undisclosed’ fee because we have gone over the £30m figure.

    I must admit I know absolutely no idea of Mustafi as a player, but his profile reads somewhat better than what Paul35mm wrote. I don’t know where I saw it, but a few snippets that I can recall were:
    ‘He rarely gets beaten in the air, plays the ball well with either foot, and can carry the ball forward.’
    Sounds like Kos’s replacement, long term?

    Another Man City casualty is Jason Denayer, and he is ‘big’, Zouma style. If one was looking outside our own contenders, he might fit the Per replacement in time, being only 20. But he did have a good season on loan at Galatasary, or so I read.

    If perchance, we have missed the boat on Mahrez and Lacazette, then their combined fees must get close to the £87m being quoted, and might be Lew’s release clause?
    Just a thought …

  54. Gerry says:

    Oh, yes. The other urgent issue to deal with as soon as Germany are out of the Olympics is to give Gnabry a ‘proper’ test in our front line, and if successful/promising, then get him signed up quick. He is in his final year of his contract, and come Christmas he will be free to negotiate with other clubs.
    I know you cannot read too much into the Olympics, as the European clubs are largely only releasing their Under 21 guys, and I am guessing the Asian sides have not been at the same level. But still, he is like Akpom, being in the right place to score lots of goals – Note: SG is currently the leading goal scorer with 6! – Gernany play Portugal next.

    To let him go there without tying him down with a contract suggests they were prepared to write him off? I just hope they are on the ball this time!
    Cheers,
    Gerry

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