The Proverbial is Never Far Away from the (Arsenal) Fan

So we lost our second game of the season. It was embarrassing. It was painful to watch. It brought back dark memories and reopened psychological wounds. We are of course all suffering from such a humiliating defeat and the pain has to come out. I realize and respect that, and everybody has their own way of dealing with it.

I was convinced we were going to get a result at Pool, but when I saw the line-up I knew it would be a disaster. We have a great squad and we need to pick the players who work together best, as a team. Now, this is of course everybody’s favourite advice to Wenger: play this formation and these players and it will all be okay; sell these players and buy these ones and Bob’s your uncle!

We suffer from delusions of grandeur.

It makes sense in our head and we cannot figure out why Wenger isn’t doing what we can see sooo clearly; and it only takes a loss or two to really start vomiting this out on social media. Doubt and humility, the brother and sister of wise people, are of course locked up in the cellar at this stage. We all believe, KNOW!, that we can manage Arsenal football club better than that ‘geriatric, doddering fool’!

I believe we are collectively overreacting. There is every right to be disappointed with the players and the manager, and they KNOW it of course. They also feel sh*te right now. The underlying problem is the structural lack of support for the manager and the team; they all operate with the knowledge that the sh*te can hit the fan at any moment at Arsenal. Something is broken and the only way to fix this, it seems, however short-lived this is likely to be, is by getting a new manager.

This is not going to happen because a) the board are not short-sighted and b) Wenger has proven time and again that he can get the team going again. It is far from ideal that we lost two games already. However, there are 35 PL games left and we do not have to go back to Pool or Stoke again. Wenger has two weeks to draw up a (new?) plan and to remotivate his players. He also has a few days left to get rid of those who do not belong in an Arsenal shirt and to strengthen the team further.

I am confident he will get this team playing again and the season could bring us plenty of footie joy. But, as Seventeenho has told us so many times, the atmosphere around the club is toxic and only a long winning run can change this. For this, Wenger and the team need to operate in an environment of trust and support. I  reckon this is lost and only a miracle will turn the season into a good one.

I can only ask you to keep supporting the manager and the team; they are not separate from us but part of the whole that is the Arsenal.

By TotalArsenal

 

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90 Responses to The Proverbial is Never Far Away from the (Arsenal) Fan

  1. Jnyc says:

    T,
    Thanks for writing for us on a day when it’s easier and more pleasant to avoid the subject of Arsenal.
    I know we all feel like its the edge of the abyss whenever we lose, but this really does seem like autopsy time.

    You added this line:
    “Wenger and the team need to operate in an environment of trust and support. I reckon this is lost and only a miracle will turn the season into a good one.” …….. coming from you, this is a strong statement. I’ve known you for years now, and you keep a bright outlook better than anyone of my gooner friends.
    The implications of it are not as much about this seasons success or lack thereof. To me, it’s more about nearing the end of an era, and the environment you describe is turning it into one that will be a very sad for me, as a good Wenger supporter.
    Sometimes we put blind faith in people that we admire. But I’m proud to say that I can be honest even when it goes against who or what I’ve been supporting, whether it’s one year or 10.

    You know that nothing in life is black or white but all degrees of grey. On balance we can look back very positively on Arsenes time. But the hard part will be to honestly assess the last few years and current events.

    We’ll be doing that daily and weekly here, because it’s the nature of blogs, and it will seem overly negative I’m sure.

    The lost trust and support you write about, means to me, not the minority of so called fans who have been impatient, always unfairly abused Arsene even when he was doing very well under extremely difficult circumstances. There will always be cynical, know it all, sports fans.

    The lost of trust and support is what has happened to Arsene from the players. It hasn’t just happened in the past few weeks, but slowly crept in over a couple of seasons. I hope we can turn things around, so it won’t be such a drag to think and chat about our Arsenal this year.

  2. LostBob says:

    Shambolic performances like that at Anfield awaits…there’s smell of blood looming, you ask yourselves what’s gone wrong at arsenal? Wenger is the problem.
    Its fine tho, when you nothing you’ve got nothing to loss

  3. St. Henry says:

    Wise words TA! 👍✌️In many ways I am actually glad that the break is on us, to recover some balance and perspective. As you say I don’t think that our team have suddenly lost all technical ability or to understand fundamental footballing concepts. But there is clearly something massively mental going on. Hope the team and the manager can sort it out quickly. And we can help them by letting them know that we are still behind them (the twitterazi’s notwithstanding). If Chelsea can rebound from their position last year to win the league, I believe we can do it as well. 😬😀

  4. njk84sg says:

    Good piece TA. And agreed on all fronts.

    It is more frustration aimed at the club and Wenger rather than pure disdain for most fans. Gooners have one common trait: we are patient and we stick to the club like a fan sticks to the ceiling.

    We can say whatever we like, about players not performing and choose our preferred lineup, like you said, but in the end the matchday squad is chosen by Wenger.

    Ox being the subject of a bid by the Chavs is one news that could not be missed. We need him out. Simple as that.

    The squad can turn it around, and they need to show togetherness by working as one unit.

  5. Jnyc says:

    If it’s finalized about Oxlade, it’s not a bad price. They are paying for until now unrealized talent, with a high ceiling because of raw ability. But let’s remember, they’d have chosen anyone else cheaper if he wasn’t English.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks guys for some fine comments.

    Let’s use AOCs money to buy a player with 100% concentration and an end product. He never suited the red and white.

  7. Waldo says:

    Wenger was a great servant to the club between 1996 and 2005 but his time is well in truely up. I was a very disappointed with the Club for not recognising this 10 years ago, let alone at the end of last season and making the decision not to renew Wenger’s contract. I’m all for giving managers three seasons to established their tactical approach and recruit the best players they can who can execute those tactics on the field, but 10 years of the same mistakes from a manager and the progressive deterioration of a side’s on field performances is far too long and indicates that the club either lacks ambition to improve or is simply scared of change. That’s Arsenal and Wenger in a nutshell.

    That’s not to say Wenger is horrible at recruitment, with the likes of Cech, Debuchy, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ox, Ozil, Sanchez, Iwobi, Perez, Lacazette and Giroud all quality players. He just doesn’t seem to understand how to configure the team on the field and employ complimentary and realistic offensive and defensive tactics to accentuate the strengths of those players whilst mitigating their weaknesses. Wenger’s inability to do so has subsequently translated into deficit and naive on field performances.

    That’s why I find it difficult to be overly critical of the players themselves. Each player has their strengths and weaknesses which are pretty evident. Despite that Wenger doesn’t seem to recognise or account for those strengths and weaknesses in formulating his tactical blueprint or with his team selection.

    This is being increasingly compounded by Wenger’s affinity for certain players influencing his team selection at the expense of deploying alternative players whose quantified strengths and weaknesses best meet the inherent requirements of the position in question. Bellerin’s continued deployment at right wing back, let alone left wing back, despite being defensively poor is one example. Welbeck’s repeated deployment as a left or right winger or striker, despite having poor ball control, limited creativity in terms of his passing and poor shot preparation and execution is another example. As is Ramsey’s repeated deployment in central midfield despite possessing the defensive discipline and positional awareness a 5 year old Sunday league player. That’s not the players’ fault though, it is simply who they are as football players. It’s the managers job to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of each player (which is more quantifiable than ever before) and recruit and select a team of players whose strengths and weaknesses best meet the inherent requirements of the select positions within the formation and tactical blueprint the manager wants to implement.

    Failure to do so season after season though has lead to the progressive deterioration of Arsenal’s on field performances. The reaction from the Club and Wenger has been simply to keep on keeping on. But as Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    The more concerning factor for me is the way in which Kronke has historically managed persistently underperforming head coaches at the various sporting franchises that he owns. Jeff Fisher, former coach of the LA Rams, is probably the best example. Despite managing the team to 5 consecutive losing seasons between 2012 and 2016, Kronke re-signed Fisher to new 2 year deal that would have taken him through to the end of the 2018 season. However, after continued losses resulting in Fisher equally the NFL record as the most losing coach, Kronke finally sacked Fisher just two week after re-signing him. I just hope things at Arsenal don’t deteriorate to that point before Kronke finally takes action in relation to Wenger’s tenure at the club.

    My advice for Gunners fans is to lower your expectations around Arsenal’s chances of retaining their best players, winning the title or even making the top 4 while Wenger remains at the helm. Doing so will save you a lot of grief and might even enable you to enjoy the positive passages of play in amongst Arsenal’s naive and inept performances.

  8. Pony Eye says:

    TA …. yours is a superbly controlled and courageous stance. And that was fair of you to recognise that each has his own way of dealing with pain. I join you in pleading that people in pain should not go smashing up windows metamorphically speaking. Instead they should go begin climb mountains or chop down trees. A pint or two might even do. If it has to be done with pen and paper, all fine but in a controlled and decent language. But letting it out one way or the other is a must. That’s catharsis. It’s therapeutic.

    For me, I beging fùriously to look for a way forward. I harness my turmoil for courage for new insights which can crystalize as new demands that at face value can appear as criticism. Critisism, though, is the expression of a view point and to me their is absolutely nothing wrong with it if it is brought out in decent language. The essence of Bergkampesque, I believe, is to be the Mecca of view points decently packaged.

    William Wordsworth said his best poems are …. “….. emotions recollected in tranquility”.

  9. Pony Eye says:

    Taking a pounding as we did at Anfield should stir up emotions the raw material for our best poems. It’s energy harnessed is material for rebuilding. There has been much talk of the boys not giving their best. I don’t see it that way. If Mr A best ever in a 100 m dash is 12 seconds, we don’t turn around and say he didn’t give his best at 12 sec because his competitor did 11sec. Anfield was our team, was our manager. All we got left is what is the way forward. Am forever welded to Arsenal, and I can never throw in the towel. Even with 3 days to go (close of window) am still fighting, still dreaming, still hoping, still planning, still uprooting trees.

    We need battlers in the team. That’s how Vieira just articulated it. He said we have leaders but no fighters. Wenger’s psychological selection of players refrains from choosing strong personalities. He seems obsessed with harmony in the dressing room. Jurgen Klop was inspired when he talked about “heavy metal v orchestra”. Football is where music sometimes should jar the ears. We are too silk

    RVP said he does not dive, but he helps the fall. We don’t get penalties these days because we have lads who can’t even help the fall. I get so dismayed at our throw ins when whoever looses a vital 2 seconds trying to get back at the right spot for the throw in. Wenger wants the nice guy, not the street wise kid.

    Can Wenger change. I very much don’t think so.

  10. Pony Eye says:

    I don’t give a damn about any player being sold. But I hate it, a player in my club leaving.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Failure to do so season after season though has lead to the progressive deterioration of Arsenal’s on field performances. The reaction from the Club and Wenger has been simply to keep on keeping on. But as Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

    Finished 6th, 2nd and 3rd during the last three years and won three FA CUPS in the last four years. If you cannot see that this is progress then I rest my case, Waldo. The competition has increased and keeps increasing and among this Arsenal are winning key trophies and always have a shout at the title.

  12. njk84sg says:

    Agreed PE. We need fighters, and Alexis is definitely one of them. It is just that he wants his team mates to fight but they refused and he could do nuts about it.

  13. St. Henry says:

    Fair point PE, but have a follow-up on the assessment from Veira that we do not have battlers. I feel that the style of expressing this has changed. If you looked at the dominant Barca and Bayern teams over the past few years, who would you say was in the Veira mould? I don’t believe that this team gives up easily – judging by how many games they have won late over the last few seasons. Anfield was a disaster no doubt for which there seem to be no answers. But is the lack of answers causing all of us to dismiss everything about this team?

  14. njk84sg says:

    TA, Wenger is using the same players and expect them to do different things.

    Why was Lacazette not playing together with Alexis? They are similar but on different sides of the pitch we will see them putting on a very good performance.

    I understand the frustrations of everyone, myself included, but sometimes we need to cool down and think about what could have happened behind the scenes.

    That is why we need the team to forget all their differences when on the pitch, and play as Arsenal.

  15. retsub1 says:

    T A I admire you optimism, it must be very difficult to look for positives at the moment.
    I really can’t remember an Arsenal side playing so poorly as we did on Sunday. Even when we lost 8 2 at Old Trafford the team was injury hit and cobbled together. Sure Kolasinac and Lacazette should have started and the Ox shouldn’t have been on the pitch given his situation. but would it have made a difference/ I don’t think so. For years we have supported Wenger through the rough patches, but I believe this is much worse. If we were to lose at home to Bournemouth, which is very possible, I think the crowd would riot. I really don’t think the transfer window will make much difference either, unless we add some steel to our side.

    The only way I can see this side turning things around currently is to play some grafters like Coquelin and dig in and fight. it may not be the Wenger way, but the team we put out on Sunday looked like they couldn’t care less.

  16. Admir says:

    “Failure to do so season after season though has lead to the progressive deterioration of Arsenal’s on field performances. The reaction from the Club and Wenger has been simply to keep on keeping on.”

    Their policy was: “Plug the holes & earn money.” Arsene had freedom to do what he wanted with the players he was given at his disposal by the club as long as he kept the club in the Champions League positions.

    “But as Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

    He wasn’t the guy who said it.

    “Finished 6th, 2nd and 3rd during the last three years and won three FA CUPS in the last four years. If you cannot see that this is progress then I rest my case, Waldo. The competition has increased and keeps increasing and among this Arsenal are winning key trophies and always have a shout at the title.”

    You have a point. Three FA Cups are top quality comparing with results and spendings of other clubs in the same period.

    However, we have a rather unhealthy situation around the club. The club owner is well-known for his lack of sporting ambition. That’s why Everton have a good chance to take our place in Top 6 this season or in the further 20+ months we are stuck with Arsene.

    Our best players don’t want to play for Arsenal with 100% desire and motivation. Two of them have their contracts in the last year and don’t want to extend them.

    The only leader in our team is a 33-year-old defender who is in his last playing year. He will retire next summer and we won’t have his presence in the locker room anymore.

    Our planning is non-existing. We make panic buys only to sell players bought that way next year. If we are lucky to find someone to pay for them, that is.

    We have missed on number of young talents over the last few years while overpaying players like Xhaka (who has been subjected to a lot more criticism than he deserved though) and Mustafi.

    We never do our transfer business on time. That’s why we don’t have a clear vision of our team until the season has already started while other rivals already know which Best XI to use.

    We never do our preparation properly so we can replace the calendar on the wall with Arsenal results – at least you will always know when August, November, February and March are.

    There is a word “kampanjac” that means a student who doesn’t prepare for the exams every day but waits until the deadline to do so. It’s usually a very intelligent yet lazy student who relies on his intelligence. That’s Arsenal in the nutshell and that’s why we can never make a sustainable title challenge that lasts past March.

  17. Pony Eye says:

    St Henry ……. fighters in two realms : physical and mental. Sanchez has the two. Xhaka lacks the physical, he has a lazy body, Ozil lacks both that’s why he cannever lead when the going gets tough. I like Nacho, you can see he strains to his own limit. Kos is fine but he has a personality that does not infect other. Ramsey’s indiscipline detracts ftom his warrior form. Coquelin is a warrior’s warrior, but he is limited in some other vital areas. Kola looks a right warrior …. the summation is that we havnt got a warrior team, a team of fighters, a tesm that wins the 50/50 balls.

    Don’t be deceived by Pep’s Barca’s silky touch team. The tiger in them spring out as soon as they loose the ball.

  18. Pony Eye says:

    Retsub, ….. thanks for reminding me of that word “steel”. About 2.5 days to close of window I’d be on my knees all through praying we bring in a minimum of 2 number steels in MF and CD.

  19. Jnyc says:

    There’s a lot i agree with being said here.
    Waldo’s description of Welbeck is the most accurate you could get. My suggestions here for Welbeck, in the past month were, first, to sell him to a lower English team, or, second, convert him to a wingback.
    Why would he be starting all 3 games for us? Arsene got cute using him as a striker in our biggest matchup so far and sitting our best striker. Waldo said it much better, he is basically clumsy, though a hard worker. Lucas Perez is so much better. So, we have a better alternative, but Arsene basically ruined his confidence and desire to be an Arsenal player. So we must sell him for a loss of money, and we keep the inferior player that no one wants. And then we start the inferior player every game. Frustrating beyond belief.

    If ANY of the transfer rumors are true Liverpool are going to have the best transfer window I’ve seen. At the very least, they are getting an incredible midfielder in Keita. This guy seems like a young Diaby/Toure. It makes me sick because our midfield, which used to be our pride and joy, is right now one of the worst performing in the league. No exaggeration. The names look good on paper, but that doesn’t matter after an awful 3 games performance.

    Someone here challenged me to come up with an answer to our midfield problems, and I suggested Seri, Lemar, Matuidi. I didnt think we could get Keita. Now I see that we could have. But they never responded to these suggestions.

    It’s not a game of football manager, or fantasy,..,, but in the real world, at least 2 of these 4 players have been transferred, and there’s a chance that all 4 will be done by this week. Matuidi was a bargain.

    So where are the scouts, executives, or Arsene, who are paid millions to find, negotiate and secure players? How will we feel if Lemar does go somewhere else? It’s like a nightmare right now, but we can’t stand still. I’d sell right now…Alexis, Ozil, Mustafi (i dont know what happened with him)..
    We are going through another rebuilding phase as far as I’m concerned. It was time to move up a level after winning one or two fa cups. We failed to do that. We had our chances, now we are sliding backwards while every team around us is strengthening. We need change, and the sooner the better.

  20. AB says:

    Great article and sentiments TA. As ever, this site remains the benchmark of thoughtful support of our club, in both short and longer term perspectives.

    Its been an awful end to the TW and start to the season. And somehow unsurprising for all that. And what it would take to turn this season around is almost impossible to define from outside the club. Many express their ‘instant fix’, certain solutions, but nobody really knows the games that are being played and the strategy that lies behind what we see. The chronic disharmony in the club and dressing room is palpable though, and like a tumour its going to need to pretty intense treatment – is it excision or prolonged chemo that’s required though? Both perhaps?

    Like you TA, and most others for that matter, I was bemused by the team selection. I think we have a good 3 CB option to back up a 3,4,3 system. To my mind that would be Mustafi, Mert and Kos, with the options of Hiding, Nacho and Kola as cover. Whether we will ever see this combination looks doubtful. Talk of Mustafi being unsettled, unable to get on with others in the team, and likely to be sold, leave me really glum. He looked a sound investment last season. And his age as a CB promised years and years of service to come. I cant see us replacing him readily if he really is to be moved on.

    A makeshift back 3 also puts more strain on the defensive qualities (or lack of them) of our DMs in a 3,4,3 set up. My feeling is that with the 3 chosen above, we would not feel so vulnerable with Rambo and Xhaka in the middle. They are not and never will be top order DMs. But they shouldn’t need to be if our 3 CBs have a mix of pace and game reading skills. A makeshift CB line up is another thing; then we need proper DMs to provide a shield. As with Mustaphi, I was looking forward to this season to see what Xhaka could offer us after a year of adjusting to the Premier league. But he can only do that with the right platform. For me that means having a solid defence around him so he can express his passing game, not try and be something he is not. If we needed a defensive destroyer then why we didn’t buy Kante when we could have is totally beyond me. But I’m ok with Xhaka ahead of Kante – but only if he has a defensive platform to work from.

    Further forward just gets more depressing wherever you look. Most of the first team in the next line want to be out of the team by the looks – Sanchez, Ozil and Ox. And the cover is either irrelevant (Theo) or crocked (Santi and Jack). What we are going to do here looks challenging to say the least. The most optimistic view would see us shipping out Ox and Sanchez this week and replacing them roughly alike with a Draxler and perhaps Sterling. The selling wont be problem. But can we really land the quality of replacement in a few days? If we get one of that ilk I will be happy. I fear we wont bring in any such replacement. Will the youth talent come to our rescue here? Maybe, but I’m less hopeful than I once was as our record of bringing on youth of late has not been what it once was. It would be fantastic if we could have one or two really break through this year. Iwobi maybe.

    I’m less worried up top. Lacca and Giroud are a pretty good pair to have. I’m less negative about Danny than many on this site. He was very young and he has been very injured. Lets give him a chance before we write him off. And he puts in a shift, which counts plenty for me at the moment.

    So what do we do? If I had real insight into the backroom problems at the club and the power to make some choices, I would get rid of the problems; even if this meant selling to PL rivals. Ox deserves nothing more from us. And nor does Sanchez to be honest. I’ve no idea what the truth is around Mustaphi. But if he is toxic in the dressing room, then get him out. We don’t have a bad team of players. But they clearly aren’t happy and aren’t performing. The comparison with the less well paid Spuds is embarrassing. Their team, in the main, looks like a team. We have too many ‘stars’ who have forgotten about the team – they want to move to a team to ‘give them a medal’, rather than remember that as stars they are meant to be bringing in the medals where they are. Sell em for whatever we can get would be my view.

    This may not be a pragmatic perspective I confess. Do we sell some of our best players to try and rebuild a sense of team, but accept that in so doing we prob miss a top 4 spot, let alone have any chance of competing for honours? Many would call this out as mismanagement. And it may be. But we don’t know the scale of the problems that Wenger has to deal with, nor the extent to which this was understood and reasoned to be part of the deal in extending his contract. As TA says, he has proven that he can turn poor runs around and get the team playing again. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Arsenal squad look so unhappy as this one though. So back to my tumour analogy – I thin some brutal excision is required this week, and we need to accept a fairly long period of treatment and recuperation. The high hopes for this season look dead already. But the club matters more than quick wins; so getting back to players playing for their team and fans supporting them has to be the start we need, even if this doesn’t give us the PL and CL trophy fix that so many demand.

  21. AB says:

    Sorry, that turned into a bit of a tome! I should try and dip in more little and often. Sadly Arsenal matters don’t aways encourage that sort of level behaviour!

  22. Jnyc says:

    That was a great comment AB. Quality discussion is why i come here to read and debate.
    I won’t look for credit, but I’ve sensed something wrong since early last season, and said so. It’s a shame that after a full season and this whole window, we’ve left ourselves 3 days to do something. If we (the club) had been honest with ourselves, we could have started to attempt to clean out part of the rot in January.
    This summer seems like such delusional behaviour when you replay the statements, the stances, pronouncements by Wenger. The signs have been there. The club has been in denial, and this time, it really feels like Arsene is responsible for misreading the situation, and reacting completely wrong.

    Hopefully we will get money for value, and Arsene will keep his promise to leave the next manager in a good position.

  23. Pony Eye says:

    Is Wenger still able to make a clean brake from our current pattern where we seem to be bugged down in everý issue? I like bold decisions. Like Conte’s decision on Costa and his decision to sell Matic. Even if they are not the best decisions they achieve closure and move on. Being bogged down saps everybody the players inclusive. Would Wenger renew or not? Will Sanchez be there or not? Is Ozil coming or going? Oxlade, Mustafi, Debuchy and Co, more signings or not. There is never a clarity anywhere. It saps.

  24. Pony Eye says:

    I guess moaning all the time saps too.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Indeed, AB, great comment. Lets hope AOC has become a Chav for £40m. I stand by keeping Alexis and not read too much into things. Mustafi’s situation saddens me but who knows what has been going on.

    I still reckon we played our best football after the Invincibles when we had the 4-5-1 formation. The only reason it did not win us the PL (or indeed the FA Cup) was due to lack of quality players/ not enough quality on bench. This is not a problem anymore. Being solid AND adventurous in midfield is what’s best for the team. Don’t be surprised if Wenger rejigs the formation in order to get the best out of the quality players available.

    I hate to agree that the midfield pairing is not working at the moment, and agree with you that is due to the lack of balance and believe in the three CBs Arsene is selecting at the moment. Maybe we need to play 4-1-4-1 going forward, with Coquelin (or Kola!!) in between defence and midfield. Ozil/Rambo/Xhaka – two out of three – in the centre of midfield and three of Lacazette/Giroud/Alexis/Perez/Welbeck/Iwobi in the remaining three positions. We just need to start again and I really believe Wenger will do this pretty soon again. The problem is that the smallest setback may reopen the wound again. The proverbial is never far away from the fan…

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Gibbsy going is the right thing to do even though he was loyal Gunner. Just did not make the grade, I am afraid. I hope he will do well at West Brom or Watford or wherever he will end up.

  27. Jnyc says:

    Funny thing is, Gibbs is another who I believe would make a great wingback. Better going forward, but just passable as a defender. Debuchy is actually great at both, but aggressive going forward for a defender. I used to enjoy Arsene bringing on Gibbs as a sub with a lead. A fifth defender, but a threat to widen the lead with fast break opportunities.

  28. AB says:

    Thanks JNYC. I agree the situation must have been brewing a while. I guess the manager must always be juggling degrees of player unrest against what they bring on the field and contract situations. Its gone wrong here, for reasons unknown. And we seem to be left with unrest and contract problems that are/may be spilling over into poor performance on the field too – a lose:lose for Wenger and the club. I’m very happy with our summer signings to be honest. But I’d assumed they were against a general backdrop of people being mostly ok at the club, barring the issue of Sanchez and Ozil’s contracts; and even there I thought Ozil’s would come round. Sanchez leaving at just shy of 30 wouldn’t be a total disaster for the club, even if we didn’t get cash. But we cant go a season with a truly unhappy team. And I cant see us replacing all those that seem to be out of sorts in two days. So I’m feeling glum for the season if not the club. I don’t think there is any risk that Wenger wont leave the club in good financial health. But what sort of squad he will have to pass on I am now less sure on. Once I would have been certain that it would be stuffed with young talent at the very least.

  29. AB says:

    Thanks TA. I hope life is good with you and Scotland continues to give you the joy that brought you there.

    I’m torn on Sanchez. I think if he stays he will play and play hard. I’m sure that’s his only way. But I fear a lot of distraction around him that wont help the club. And I also wonder if his striving to perform individually will be to the detriment of the team as a whole. I’d rather he made a hatful of assists than just scored a handful of individual scorchers.

    4,1,4,1 isn’t a bad shout given the resources we now have. But we should have bought Kante if we are going to end up in that shape. I know I’m just giving the media too much credit, but all the stories are that we had sale agreement and he wanted to come, but we held back in salary. Looking at what’s being offered now makes that look terribly short sighted.

    Anyway, that’s water under the bridge. Can Coq be what we need in a 4,1,4,1 formation? Yes for most teams, but not against the best I fear. I think he is a quality reserve, but a moderate first team player.

  30. Goonereris says:

    TA, you’ve managed to do a most arduous task of coming up with positives after a bad loss by the team. While that’s commendable, there are many who will disagree with you, demanding as we’ve continued to see, the manager resigns or that we buy certain kinds of players and play them in certain positions, under certain tactical structures; all in the illusion that somehow, they know better than the manager. I have been guilty, as have many of us, albeit not in quite the condescending manner you find it done on some sites/blogs/studios.

    I was hurt by that performance, I can’t lie. But I still feel, as I posted here, that the players didn’t look 100% themselves and have not played for the manager. There was every reason to believe something far from the public eye was/is wrong, at the moment. So, I tend to agree with AB’s allusion to some “tumour” that needs to be excised, with hopefully not prolonged “chemo treatment”. There’s disaffection about stuff in the camp and it won’t be too far away from the players seeking exits, amidst their frivolous demands. I will return to this matter.

    So, I believe we can bounce back from this, as we have proven a lot of times. I read someplace (and fact checked it) that three matches of each season since 2011, Arsenal has dropped eight, four, three, four, five, five, and now six points, consecutively. While 6 points is like the 2nd worst start in that time, we consistently finished in the top 4 all those years, going 4th, 3rd, 2nd (but dropped to 5th) in the last 4 seasons; we finished three points behind 3rd place last season with 75-points and so far, have brought in two impact players in Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac. It remains to be seen who else leaves, aside from Gabriel, of those who are regulars of any significance. We can turn this around but need everyone on board! The fans have a role to play as much as the players.

    Back to the disaffection in camp, nothing poses a threat to team spirit than individuals who want out or feel superior to the rest. Ox bid his time till he entered the protected period of his contract to unload his “revenge” for Arsenal doubting him because he had never lived up to his promise until late last season. I think that got him thinking, plus the fact his Dad always thought he should start ahead of Theo (the national team seems to prove him right, I must say), while Wenger felt differently. However, he needs to realize that since arriving Arsenal six years ago for £12m, a substantial sum for a teenager, he has suffered 11 different injuries, ruling him out of a total of 154 games. Arsenal could, therefore, be forgiven for wanting to see if he would recover from the two knee injuries that ruined 2016 for him before throwing hundreds of thousands per week at him. His behaviour is therefore, in poor taste and the sooner we are rid of him, the better.

    As for Sanchez, great player that he is, he has maintained studied silence and has not thrown tantrums over his transfer speculations. It seems he has allowed the club to be in control, even if his agents are putting out the right sound bites for his cause. However, much as I like the idea of a big, feared player in the side, I have never liked his overbearing manner in games; his hands throwing, going down on his hunches and ‘smiles’ on the bench are just not good for this club, at the moment. For as long as he doesn’t sign, it will be a circus around the club; a distraction which can be ended by selling him off for a good sum of money/ part player exchange (as we are reading these days). Matt Law was quoted by some paper as saying: “There is a strong feeling that the constant speculation surrounding Sanchez is having a detrimental effect on the squad as a whole and that it will only get worse the longer he stays without signing a new contract”. He went on to say the players can’t wait to see the back of him. I don’t know how true, but if it is, it tells of serious issues behind the scenes. Solution: Excise!

    In conclusion, we can bounce back and go on a long winning run given the next set of fixtures we have (bar Chelsea away) and bring back confidence to face the season better, but the players have to come together to achieve that.

    Sorry for making this so long.

  31. Goonereris says:

    Hmmm. Looks like I was 6 comments or so late there.

    Great comments, all round, guys.

  32. oz gunner says:

    Great stuff TA. God only knows how you found that optimism. I’ve I tried to write about Arsenal my laptop would end up through my office window.

    I am honestly at a loss when it comes to discussing what is going on at Arsenal at the moment. I get asked by mates “hey Oz what’s going on at Arsenal?” and all I can do is shrug my shoulders. Has Arsene lost the squad? Are their too many toxic players in the team resulting in a split squad? No idea. I would really like some answers on the Mustafi situation. German international, young, quality, our future when Kozzer leaves. If anything I thought we got him for a bargain. Now he’s being linked to inter on a loan deal…WTF?! Lunacy. The only conclusion I can come to is Arsene never rated him but he was shoved down his throat like Park and Lucas were. When that happens Arsene doesn’t play them.

    As for Welbeck. For 10 years I feel like I’ve been saying “he’ll be a good player when he improves his finishing…” 10 years and nothing has improved in that regard. He just looks like a strong, fast athlete that converted late to football. Lucas seems far better and Eduardo like in his poaching/technique.

    The thing that upsets me the most is the lack of fight we are showing at the moment. I don’t care if we finish 4th last, just as long as we show some fight. I honestly don’t know what else to say to be honest. I’ll continue watching and cheering for as long as I live but at the moment it seems more like a chore than anything else.

    Keep fighting the good fight TA.

  33. Waldo says:

    Sad to see that Gibbs is on the verge of leaving the club. A really good defensive left fullback who is marginally less productive than Monreal and Kolasinac but superior to the Spainard (and equal to the Serb) at transitioning the ball from defence to attack. Like Monreal and Kolasinac, Gibbs struggles with the frequency and his accuracy of his crossing. I can understand him wanted to change clubs given the lack of game time he has had due to Wenger not regularly rotating his squad in a systematic way. A good servant to the club and wish him well for the future should he depart.

  34. allezkev says:

    Interesting situation with Mustafi, especially considering that he played every game at the start of last season, wasn’t that a 20 game unbeaten run before the wheels came off..?

    Firstly it seems that Mustafi is going to be sold to Inter, then Mustafi going to be loaned, then he going to be loaned with the prospect of making the deal permanent, then we get linked with Jonny Evans, Pulis publicly states that we were in for him last season, then we hear that Evans wants to move to Man City instead ( can’t blame him there), then Mustafi is staying…

  35. Pony Eye says:

    Waldo ….. yes, Gibbs is such a good lad and I hope the day he shows up at the Emirate the stadium would give him a standing ovation. There are very few like him.

    But I don’t quite agree with your comparison of him with Nacho and Monreal. He overlaps very well only when the ball is placed in space for him. Better than Nacho but not better than Kola. In terms of transitioning passes he is close to zero, Nacho is the best followed by Kola. In terms of effective crossing that’s Kola’s domain, Gibbs second, Nacho brings up the rear. Defensively I’d put Nacho ahead of Gibbs (much better reading of the game). As for Kola am still trying to get to know him. I wonder about his reading of the game and his tackles live on the edge. I sure don’t want him tackling in the box.

  36. Pony Eye says:

    Kev ….. I do not think much of Musti as a CD. Sure he is a battler and a good tackler but he is unable to read the game to the level of CD. He has, as it were, a tunnel vision. I believe he’d make a very good RFB. One can see that role in his game as a CD. Particularly useful in the RFB in matches we want to tighten the defence.

  37. allezkev says:

    PE, no BFG in our defence, no organisation, no leadership, no direction, nobody seemingly talking to each other.

    Holding looked brilliant alongside BFG, now he looks edgy.
    Put BFG alongside Mustafi and you’d see a better player.
    I was quite underwhelmed at the thought of Evans in an Arsenal shirt a few months ago, now I’m not so sure, he’s played really well for West Brom, but then again the West Brom c/m don’t go missing.

  38. Pony Eye says:

    There is again so much talk of Ox rejecting Chl and considering Liv. He very much wants to be a starter but the snag for him is he is only thinking of top teams.

    I must confess that am having a feeling that he has not been discovered in terms of the best role for him. When that right role is found he would be unplayable. A lad that achieves over 5 dribbles per match has to be respected. Those numbers belong to players like Messi, Neymer and Hazard. Dribbling runs for that matter.

    If you ask me, his role is not in the CM. When he gets the ball his whole system is thinking the space within the woodworks. The exact reason why he is on the poor sides in roles far away from the woodworks. THE INSIDE FORWARD POSITION WOULD CATAPULT HIM TO REALISE HIS AMAZING POTENTIAL WHICH WE ALL SENSE. Conte knows this. In Chelsea he would compete with Hazard, Williams, and Pedro and not with Moses.

  39. Pony Eye says:

    Kev …. I doubt tha BFG would have a calming effect on Musti. He is am extremely excitable character. Assuming he can improve him, it means that when Musti plays BFG must have to be by his side. I can see it clearly (pardon me) he’d be a great RFB. He likes straight line football, hungers for the goals and yet he is a damn good tackler. What better definition for a FB/ WB.

  40. njk84sg says:

    Gibbs have moved to WBA. Wish him all the best.

  41. Pony Eye says:

    Confirmed by Sky Sports Ox to Liv @ £35M.

  42. Retsub1 says:

    P E it’s very sad. But in fairness it’s been coming for a long time. I don’t want Wenger to go out like Cloughie did. I really liked Cloughie and felt he should have been the England manager. Unfortunately he was allowed to go on too long, particularly once he and Peter Taylorfell out. I would never say Wenger out, I have too much respect for what he has achieved, but to be honest he is way past his sell by date and is in danger of dragging Arsenal away from the top tier of the prem. I can’t think why any top star would want to join Arsenal at the moment and it looks like we will go past the transfer window with a weakened squad.

  43. AB says:

    Evening Alezkev. I totally agree with your assessment of Mert. I’d love to see him in the centre of a back 3 as his lack of pace would be less of an issue, but he could use his positioning and his influence to coordinate those around him – along with Cech of course. The move to a back 3 last years seemed a good reason to keep Mert for another year. But I’m mystified why he isn’t getting used now.

    PE ad Retsub. The bit of that article I agree with is that legacy can only be truly assessed in hindsight. The view that Wenger is ruining things now is only founded on the assumption that his replacement would transform our squad our recruitment and our general fortunes. Well, a bit like transfer bingo, there’s no guarantee of this. Even the biggest names may struggle – lets see how Guardiola and Klopp get on this season. And sides can spend years trying out different manager before landing on a good one – see the Spuds. Who do we believe was waiting for us that would have been ‘the one’?

    Wenger may be clinging on. Or he may be putting the club first in a time when it needs him, despite not being in the place he would like it. Is he recklessly risking his legacy for his ego or is he willing to risk some of his legacy for the needs of the club? I don’t know the guy, so I cant pretend to know. But I don’t buy easy solutions in the main.

    There’s no doubt that his end looks near. But I think the challenge facing our club in the face of hugely inflated prices is one that is not of Wenger’s making. Nor is it one which will be fixed by a new manager. Players will still come to develop under Wenger; not all, but some. That may not be the case with our next appointment, who I doubt will be any superstar name. But there are a lot of clubs now who can pay vast fees and wages to secure the players they want, and can do so without regard to the bottom line. We have to have an edge in that market.

    I will be glad when tomorrow is past and we can get on with the season, though I fear we will only be able to do so fully if we have cleared out the headline creators. Personally, I am well up for that.

  44. Jnyc says:

    One more day to hope for miracles. I don’t expect anything, and am emotionally prepared for that outcome. The miracle for me would be to sell Alexis to anyone for a good fee, then somehow bring in a decent replacement. Since we are rebuilding, though the club wont admit it, I’d also like to sell Ozil at this point and bring another mf, so Ramsey or Jack could play higher. But that’s asking far too much in the little time our club has left us.
    How many times this summer have you read this following word from me ?
    Mismanagement.
    Now, counting Gabriel, Mustafi situation, it’s criminal mismanagement. I think that if we had tried much earlier, we could have sold Alexis to psg, and wouldn’t be sending him to an English club today.

  45. AB says:

    Krychoviak to West Brom??!!! That’s a shocker for me

  46. retsub1 says:

    AB you make a fair point and you are right we have no idea what his mindset is. I would like to think I don’t over react, but the problem is we are tthree games into the design and barring a turnaround of epic proportions it feels like the season is already over. I don’t know if he has lost the dressing room, I don’t know if rumours about Alexis upsetting the dressing room are true and I agree it would be very difficult for a new manager to step in. I just don’t believe that Wenger can turn it around anymore. It’s a bit of a cliche, but no one person is bigger than the club. I hope he proves me wrong.

  47. Waldo says:

    Krychowiak is a great signing by West Brom. This guy is a defensive beast in central midfield with good transitional passing skills. Pulis has done a really good job this transfer window bringing in Krychowiak, Gibbs, Barry and Burke not to mention Jay Rodriguez.

  48. AB says:

    Retsub. I think its true that expectations of competing for the PL look pretty dim after the start we have had. The maths would show that there is plenty of time – look at the Chavs early on last season compared with how City started; and then where they both ended up! But none of us see that happening for the Arsenal this season sadly – though I feel a bit rubbish saying that so early on. There’s an awful lot to turn round. But I think he will do it to the degree that I’m not giving up the prospect of a top 4 finish just yet – Manure, Spuds and Pool have plenty yet to prove in my book before they can bank a top 4 spot; though I don’t see either of the Oilers missing out. I think he will rally the team pretty quickly once the TW is over. And the squad is still a good one, albeit probably shy of title winning potential.

  49. Waldo says:

    Interested to know who people think Arsenal should replace Wenger with if, in the unlikely event, he is sacked in the coming weeks. Given the shambolic state of Arsenal’s central midfield options, whoever replaces him would, in my opinion, invariably struggle until they had the opportunity to recruit in the January transfer window, but interested to know people’s thoughts on Wenger’s potential successor?

  50. Goonereris says:

    I doubt that Wenger is going to be sacked at Arsenal any time soon; at least, not unless a losing run is sustained and it becomes obvious he can’t handle it anymore.

    As for the possible replacements, we have Tomas Tuchel and Luis Enrique, both available amongst many other top managers. In addition, with the club’s pulling power, you’d feel we can get nearly any one of the presently employed top managers; Rafa, Pochetinno, Klopp, Diego Simeone, and the like are going to find it hard turning down a formal offer from Arsenal.

    OT. Krychowiak is a good buy by WBA and proves English sides now shop in a perfect market scenario, save for the few odd names who attract silly money. This portends a very long and hard season; we may be tested by erstwhile “small” teams now and should be ready for the fight.

  51. njk84sg says:

    PE, i have read your link and it has Wenger Out on every sentence.

    I liked Tim’s commentaries, but this seems like channeling the thoughts of most of the fans. Yes, we may be sad, yes, the team is not in a good run of form and mentality, and yes, we needed to do something.

    But what we needed to do is not to throw rocks at the fallen. We need to say things that perk them up.

  52. njk84sg says:

    Like i said before, the team is only as good as the slowest person, we need everyone to work together, and not the “i play my own game” approach.

    I saw the highlights and Alexis tried to play to get his teammates to play with him. The rest did not oblige and we saw something like that.

    Who to blame though?

    Eager to see how today pans out.

  53. Pony Eye says:

    How many times have we chunked the 3:4:3 formation since we switched to it? Every time we trailed. Wenger seems not to be acting on a tactical conviction. Are we floundering there and everywhere else? I hope not. But by the end of today I would have a more definite opinion.

    This our current midfield personnel can never be a shield to any defence, not to talk of a defence that is now largely reliant on Per in his last season, on Kosh with the chronic inflammation of the achilless tendon. Our ailment is so easy to diagnose. I hope that by 11pm today, we would have fixed it properly (not with the left overs). We are the 7/8th biggest club in Europe for crying out loud.

  54. Waldo says:

    A great article from Tim Stillman. Hits the nail on the head. I strongly encourage Bkers to have a listen to the latest Arsenal Vision podcast. Tim, Elliot, Clive and Paul do a great job dissecting the goingson at the club.

  55. njk84sg says:

    Nah Waldo, stick to bk.. you will have a better perspective.

  56. Waldo says:

    I’m still an avid Bergkampesque fan. TA does a great job managing the site and giving Arsenal fans a platform to share their coherent thoughts.

  57. njk84sg says:

    For me, i look at arseblog, but i just read their views, not subscribe to their views and thoughts.

    There are other more negative sites, but the most positive and mostly neutral is still Berkampesque.

    We all have different wants and needs of our team, but the thing is at the end of the day Wenger is the manager and we are not earning 100,000 pounds per week.

    We can only back the club through thick and thin, and that is what i am here for.

  58. njk84sg says:

    Do we not have conventional Centre Backs?

    https://www.arsenal.com/news/elnenys-best-years-are-ahead-him

    Wenger wants to play Elneny in the middle of a 3 man defence.

    Better play him in DM alongside Xhaka.
    No better place to put him.

  59. njk84sg says:

    Ox is gone, Lemar and Draxler in?

  60. Goonereris says:

    The deadline day scramble isn’t something I enjoy watching/monitoring. So far, I succeeded till I took a peak only to see that a lot has happened with regards to our club. Alexis gone from 100% staying to Arsenal accepting £60m from City, even though we rejected £50m yesterday. However, we stood our ground and sanction a sale only if we can get Lemar or Draxler deal over the line. Then we go on to bid £90m or £92m for Lemar; Monaco accept the bid (crazy when you recall they would have sold for half that price at the opening of the window, before vowing he was no longer for sale), but the player now wants Liverpool because of CL footie.

    All the above meant Arsenal pull out of the deal and pull the plug on the Alexis to City agreement, even though it was reported the player had prematurely announced his change of clubs to his national team mates. Now, we can only imagine how much further withdrawn from the team Alexis will become after this botched deal.

    We have to admit we messed up this window; we have had a lot of outgoings, as required. But as it relates to a key player like Alexis, it’s been a cop out. Maybe, if we had any idea we might just accept a bid for him, we should have prepared our targets for the possibility, no matter how implausible that may sound. That way, we will know if they are likely to join smoothly. Anyway, there’s still time for things to change again but I won’t be watching anymore. 😩

  61. AB says:

    I’m waiting for someone to do the sums. My guess is we have made a net profit in transfer headings as well as reduced our overall wage bill. It ain’t going to be popular though!

  62. AB says:

    As ever with such things Gooneris I take (possibly delusional) comfort from assuming the press noise is partial and spun. If the story really is as its been reported then it does look shambolic on our part, as well as deeply discouraging – to have lost one player who wanted to take a pay cut to go to Pool and now another, for whom we have allegedly bid £92M, who doesn’t want to come to us because Pool are interested….. Oh dear oh dear. In recent years very few, if any, would have picked Pool over us for anything approaching like money. Really worrying for the club if it’s true.

  63. Jnyc says:

    What a disaster is Arsenal. Buy Lucas for approx 17 mil. Can’t sell even for a loss, so loan him back.
    Only God knows whats up with 35m cb Mustafi.
    Keeping Alexis, who is and will be unhappy. Already marking his calendar for January negotiations with other clubs. Possibly a cancer in the dressing room and on pitch.

    If it’s true that Lemar refused to join, what an embarassment. I bet that Draxler said no thanks also. Signs of a club in decline.

    Most of this is self inflicted.

  64. Pony Eye says:

    Are they being honest with the fans? This level of bungling can’t be true.

  65. Pony Eye says:

    Poor me! A little over an hr to go and am still hoping ….

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas… Anybody miss me? I thought not… 😀

    Well, I wanted to wait until the window was closed–and I’ll probably start in on writing a post as soon as it does–but I have been keeping up with TA’s (very good) post and the comments here on the blog. It’s very nice to see AB back in the fray… Retsub, Oz, St. Henry (RA, right?) as well with their pop-ins… Plus, of course, the regulars who have been keeping it going during these very tough times.

    Over here in the States they cover the closing of the window and I thought it started at 1 (pm) but it doesn’t come on until 2… Instead, I was treated to the end of the “Match of the Week,” our drubbing up at Anfield. Can it get any worse than this?… Well, there’s still an hour to go in the window, so we shall see. 😀 😦 As I commented before the Pool match, I most certainly fear the worst…

    OK, enough said, and time to get working on that post… (Spoiler Alert: I have to agree with those who believe that these past couple of weeks–the games at Stoke and Pool plus the closing of the window–have been a disaster for the club… I will have to dig deeper than ever to find some upside…)

    TA, let me know if you’re planning on writing something. I can always hold off if you prefer… Cheers…

  67. Pony Eye says:

    £27M net profit transfer window. Lemar apart our MF and CD are crying out for reinforcement. Kos might just have hurt himself in their world cup qualifier What’s going on!.

  68. Jnyc says:

    17 your wisdom and balance are going to be needed. Even reasonable, fair minded gooners are in a dark place.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    What exactly is ‘the disaster’ fellow BKers? We sold toilet brush to Pool for good money, Gibbs who has had so many chances to establish himself was ‘let go’ at a profit and kept the rest. Well done Wenger for not selling Alexis with nobody coming to us in return. Lemar can go wherever he wants and him not choosing Arsenal right now I do not find embarrassing (Barca has first pick here). When are we going to be a bit more real about this all? We have a great squad, yes even if you feel we need a DM. I have no doubt that Kola could be that DM IF that is the way we want to play. And there is also the Polish lad who looked v promising as a DM.

    It is not the squad or players which are the issue. It is about trust, system of football, a good run of games, players getting together and say let’s turn this round, pride, support. The rest is fantasy football shite.

    I have no doubt that we will turn this round again if the manager and the players could just work in a vacuum. But they don’t and the media and a part of the fanbase are going to make this very, very hard in the coming months. It is not going to be much fun.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    17 hi. Not planning to write anything else right now. A post from you is of course very welcome.

  71. Jnyc says:

    T, I don’t believe every story I read, so many of them are exaggerated to get more sensational coverage. But if you put together the information that makes sense, we have an unhealthy situation brewing, and this time, i don’t blame the anti- Arsene people, although they are probably getting satisfation.

    I really get the feeling that players are turning down moves to Arsenal, and a few too many players want out. I don’t now like the idea of keeping Sanchez. I think the money and losing an unhappy player made it worth it. We can only speculate whether a very early sale to psg would have been possible.

    It’s not the media making many of us feel bad about Arsenal, it’s actual events on and off the pitch.

    Winning is contagious as you say, so I’m hoping we can pull something good together.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    BAJ, we just have to realise that things are changing rapidly. There are now many clubs who are as rich if not richer than us and we compete with them. We attracted Lacazette and Kola but apparently Lemar turned us down. Who else turned us down? And other than toilet brush head and Sanchez, who wanted out this summer?

    If anybody tells me that a squad containing Koz, Mustafi, Cech, Nacho, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Coquelin, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck, Lacazette, Iwobi, BFG, Ospina and Kola cannot turn things round, I will not have it. With the departures, we have now some space to bring in a couple of youngsters. Not being mega rich and not playing in the CL will of course have some effect on attracting players, but there is no evidence that, other than Lemar, we are being snubbed categorically.

  73. AB says:

    Hi Ta. Disaster is over stating stuff here I agree. I think there’s a lot to be worried about. But we do have a good core squad that is capable of playing us out of the gloom. And that’s what we have to look for now. The one thing I would like to look at sometime is the finances around our Lemar bud. If we thought he was worth that sort of sun whybon earth did we not make a more credible bid earlier in the TW. It just doesn’t make sense. And we know that he wanted to come to us earlier in the summer. Again that looks really badly handled. But all that is what it is. Time now for the serious. Usiness which is the league. And forget this rubbish for a few months. It is a relief to be past it.

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good stuff TA, but you stole my word–“vacuum”… If only, indeed…

  75. Goonereris says:

    Jnyc, agree there, re what the press spouts about Arsenal news. It’s not likely that Lemar rejected Arsenal for Liverpool because of CL; those are just reports bordering on banter. Not too long ago, Lemar was desperate to “work with Wenger”, as far as we all know, we were in the Europa league then and he knew that too. Trouble is we kept looking for a bargain (Oh! For the gift of foresight) and were, today, willing to pay a sum we didn’t even imagine possible barely 6 weeks ago.

    What I feel happened with Lemar was a timing issue. Deschamps made it clear no player in camp will be leaving to complete transfer moves, so as soon as we got that memo, we pulled out to fight another day. The big loser here will be Man City who may have put doubts in the minds of some of their key players (Sterling, Aguero and Jesus); then Alexis, to a smaller degree as he would have started making plans to move his dogs and all that. Arsenal will only have the problem of dealing with an unhappy player who knows his every move will be scrutinized by the media; and woe betide him should he lose a penalty or miss a sitter in the course of the next 3 months.

  76. njk84sg says:

    We are now short of players due to the players out.

    Surely Wenger should have thought of this and want to bring in reinforcements. But nope he did not bring in anyone.

  77. Admir says:

    If anything, this transfer window has shown that Arsenal have had an awful policy for years so we had to make a net profit to plug the giant hole our business – the one thing we were told Arsenal and Wenger have done well – had made over the years. We had a huge squad full of players that are not good enough to play for Arsenal yet on a wage that made them almost out of reach for interested clubs.

    Again, no central midfielder was signed. For some reason, Wenger believes current midfielders are good enough even if every bloody evidence suggests otherwise.

    AOC’s sale is a good piece of business and kudos for getting 40 millions for him but WHY DID HE PLAY AT ANFIELD THEN?!

    Also, whole Mustafi fiasco could become the most expensive failure in the history of Arsenal. The way we treated him during this TW was awful and I can see why players like Lemar will think twice before joining Arsenal even if there is big money on the table. I can understand Man City, they shit pounds and dollars so they can afford a defensive flop like Mangala every year but I thought Arsenal are economical.

    On the positive note…

    Keeping Alexis is a good piece of business as well. We have 35 league matches to see if Alexis can propel us to either league title or at least Top 4 with his goals and assists. We avoided RvP situation and the bald poacher got a middle finger for his umpteenth attempt to tap one of our best players. Up yours, Pep.

    Losing Gibbs is not a loss. Sending Lucas Perez, Campbell, Bramall and Jenkinson on loan didn’t make me cry either. Same goes for Martinez as he needs playing time as he should be our No. 1, maybe even next season. Gabriel had his place in rotation but if Chambers does well, nobody will remember nice lad Gabs.

    It’s worrying that we lost Willock and Malen from U21 team and that Reine-Adelaide seems to be stuck somewhere in the limbo. Iwobi looked sharp during preseason but Wenger doesn’t want to burn him out yet. I guess.

  78. allezkev says:

    Going in with a massive bid for Lemar, at the last minute, just felt like desperation to me, panic even…

    The atmosphere at the Bournemouth game isn’t going to be great I suspect.

  79. Pony Eye says:

    Sanchez is a fighter, but I fear he is also a bad looser. He has just lost in his transfer saga. I accept he can’t help but do his best when with the ball, but would he still track back as he used to do? I doubt. And he had shown clearly before that in a poor frame of mind he can be poison to the dressing room. Remember Tevez, Costa? We might have to take a loss worth £60M plus plus.

    To me, ………. Unhappy Sanchez for one year is WORSE than a £60M signing for 5years. We bungled it. We are talking about optimizing our decisions. This 1st season of the PL windfall, we made a net transfer profit (possibly the only team in the league to to so). That’s a crude display of a lack of ambition. It’s so depressing. If we are able to make the top 4, it is thanks to the gods and not to any smartness on our part even though Wenger and co would part themselves on the back and be encouraged to do more of the same. We bungled this window but as Gooners we gird our loins and fight on.

  80. njk84sg says:

    We must ask ourselves why we bidded for Lemar for 90 million but he refused to join us.

    It is no longer a pull factor by Wenger to bring in top players, and as Vieira said, we need to add tactical steel to Wenger’s flair and we will do well.

  81. Simba says:

    I agree TotalArsenal that we need to give youth players a chance. Looking at our squad its not very bad but the players must not be guaranteed starting spots after a string of poor performances. Arsene needs to be ruthless to players like Ozil and Ramsey and the only way is to bench them and give others chances. Failing to buy players like Lemar might be a blessing in disguise. Him and Mbappe are simply players who have been given a chance to play because their clubs do not have money to buy established stars. We have players like Nelson, Akpom, Zelalem, Adelaide, & Bielik who have the potential to rise & shine if given the right support. These players have the potential to establish themselves the same way every kid is doing (Bellerin & Iwobi for example). Looking at Everton you can only but admire the guts of Koeman to players his teenagers who are keeping established stars on the bench. Bielik has the potential to establish himself as a world class centre back or defensive midfielder. Keeping players like Chambers and Mustafi is very important to the team as the money we could get from them is not sufficient to replace them with equally good players judging by the stupid prices in the market now & they can also play a variety of positions.

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Simba, it looks to that we will give Nelson a chance to cover on the right and Bielik to play in defence and midfield. I will say this again. IF Wenger wants to move towards a strong DM formation, he only needs to play Coq or Kola there. He can also play the likes of Mustafi, Nacho, Chambers or Holding in midfield. It really is not rocket science. Go to 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 and it is sorted. We don’t need to buy such a player at all and that is why Wenger was never in the market for one.

    AB,

    We don’t know what happened re Lemar. Did Wenger do a ‘De Gea’ on Alexis/Man City? Make it look like he wanted to help Alexis out but found a way of cancelling the thing at the last minute. If you want to finish at least in the top four this season, who are you going to bank on: an experienced Alexis or a PL-unproven Lemar? Wenger would only ever get Lemar IF he could cash in on Alexis, but I think as long as he had one of the two he was happy. In my view, he got it right anyway. Alexis will come good again.

    Here is my formula to Gooner happiness: great squad, need to reconsider structure/formation, move players around till it fits best, have a clear the air discussion and start getting results. Oh and block out the media and vile blogs. OGAAT! Cant wait till our next game. Lets make some Cherrie Juice.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev,

    Going for Lemar was a negotiations masterstroke imo. It was all linked to Alexis being sold OR Lemar joining us for Alexis to be sold. Who had all the cards in his hands?

  84. allezkev says:

    The thing is TA, if we’d gone for Lemar, say 6-8 weeks ago, would we have had to stump up £92m..?

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    New post… It’s long, it’s rambling, but at least it’s out…

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, but we went for Lacazette instead. After that there was no need to add further in attack. However, I believe Wenger was actually trying to get Lemar 6-8 weeks ago but it did not work out. It would be naïve of us to think it was just a matter of Wenger being stingy back then: it takes three parties and an idiot of an agent to get a player and if one of the three does not (yet) play ball it will come to nothing. We are just sooooo used to thinking it is us that mess things up. Sad really.

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