The Brain: The One Player Arsenal Should Sign Up


Arsenal fell into Bournemouth’s trap. We were harried into hurrying our game without any plan or purpose. Bournemouth came at us with all they had and we couldn’t dance away from their flurry or keep them at bay with straight left jabs or put them down with stunning right counters. We did not have the brains, nor the punch, nor the skills, nor the stamina, nor the self-conviction. Of course, we lost.

Arsenal without Ozil is a team without a brain. Without Sanchez it has no punch. Sanchez is as good as gone. I don’t even want him anymore. But find a new punch we must. As for Ozil, we should quickly give him what he wants which very much includes quality players around him – but not Welbeck, neither Walcott nor Iwobi.

If recruitment were like a trolley dash in a supermarket, I would have rattled out about a dozen names we should immediately sell or retire or loan out. In parallel to that would be a dash in and a dash out, with quality that is befitting of our status as the second richest club in the world according to a recent survey, or, if you prefer one that has stood up to scrutiny over a number of years, the sixth richest one. Not in any doubt is that we are financial footballing royalty. Mark that the footballing royalty is qualified by the word “financial”. I take great pains not to be misunderstood.

It’s tiring, this hide and seek game of Alexis and no Alexis, of Lemar and no Lemar, of Ozil and no Ozil, of Malcolm and no Malcolm. It exhausts me (I represent the fandom), it exhausts the players, exhausts everybody. The whole drama has become an epic of penny wise pound foolish.

There are only 15 matches left in the season and we are 8 pts adrift of 4th place. The 4th place “trophy” that used to rile us has become our wildest dream. What a fall. Yet, only a few years back, we were told by the management that we had reached a position where we could compete for all top honours. It was not intended to deceive. They were convinced of the truth of it having failed to recognize that they had become trapped in the thrift-culture of their recent past. Resplendent in the garb of royalty but stewed in the culture of peasantry they kept rolling over budgets of subsistence. And I (representing the fandom) am left to suffer the contradictions.

We must jolt ourselves out of our stupor starting from this week. We should let Sanchez go even for just the sake of the club’s pride. If you don’t want me, I don’t want you. That’s how proud we should be if we are to be conquerors. The vibes from Ozil are different. He is asking for a pay packet that is commensurate with his quality. He is also demanding that we put quality players around him as that is the way he can thrive, the way the team can thrive. It is us, the club, who should put pen to paper and sign his dotted lines. We have the muscles to do that. Only our small timer mentality is what we need to free ourselves of. We should beat off all competitors and get Ozil to stay with us. Get into the vast and rich market and take whom we want. If there is need to fire sale any dead woods, so be it. There is always a lot to gain traveling light.

Can we claw back the 8 pts plus needed to get into the Champions League place? First, we have to put our house in order. Now! It’s our only home. Thereafter we take it one game at a time (OGAAT).

A Gooner never says die!

By Pony Eye.

24 thoughts on “The Brain: The One Player Arsenal Should Sign Up

  • Thanks Pony and agreed with the need to sign up Ozil asap. I don’t think it will be just down to money with Mesut. He will want to know whether Arsenal will invest in the right players to be able to compete for both the PL and CL. I genuinely believe he wants to stay but he knows that the likes of Bayern, PSG, Juventus will also be interested in him; and with them he can fight for national and European trophies. His relationship with Wenger will also be important, and I don’t know whether he would want Arsene to go or to stay; whatever it is, it will be crucial in his decision making. Furthermore, he will look at the way Arsenal deal with the departure of Sanchez. It’s a gut feeling but I reckon that he will sign a new deal if real quality will be added in the next few weeks. If not…. we are looking at the doom scenario of no CL footie next season, no Ozil and thus having to rebuild, which will lead to the further risk losing touch with top four longer term.

    Wenger’s role in all of this is crucial. Many of us believe it is time for a new manager and some would like him to stay. Respect is required for both points of view.

  • Very well balanced assessment and exhortation PE! 👍😀. One sentence especially struck a chord with me “They were convinced of the truth of it having failed to recognize that they had become trapped in the thrift-culture of their recent past.” I have to wonder if this is the mindset that Gazidis is keen on changing through the new non-football folks. Not to belittle Wenger but it would not surprise if he is the one most resistant to splash cash after a decade or more or careful management; it is a mindset that is easy to get trapped in I feel.
    Here’s to a good rest of the season for us and all the misfortune to the rest vying for the top 4! 😆

  • Hey Eris, that was great news about the U23’s, I’m gonna go on You Tube and see if I can find some of the game. Nketiah certainly seems like the real deal to me, from a finisher perspective, we’ve lacked that since we lost Eduardo, basically someone who simply puts the ball in the net, no flourish, no marks for artistic impression, just put it in the onion bag.

    Jeff seems to have hit the buffers, I know that injuries haven’t helped but I really thought that he’d be where Maitland-Niles currently is in the pecking order. Maybe a season long loan is what he needs, regular 1st team football, possibly back in France if not at a decent level in England?

    Our Roumanian midfielder is developing nicely, he would be a newspaper editors dream what with all the Dracula puns they could trawl up, but besides all that nonsense he is a talent and very much 1st team material, as I’m sure we’ll see over the next 18 months.

    Whoever is going to be managing Arsenal over the next couple of years will be walking into a possible treasure trove of young, technically gifted players waiting to be coached, developed and pushed into the Arsenal senior squad. It reminds me very much of the Adams, Rocastle, Thomas clutch of youngsters whose youth, tenacity, power and talent drove George Graham’s Arsenal to two league titles in three years.

  • Nicely done there, PE. Like you, I tend to agree our failure to take quick advantage of developing transfer market situations and rather dithering, seeking bargain-basement deals, is all in the mind and a bit of what the media throws out there. It goes under the radar that the fee we paid for Ozil was the 2nd highest in the EPL for a player coming in, at the time. Indeed, other than United’s deals for Pogba and Lukaku, and Chelsea’s deal for Morata, Arsenal’s deal for Lacazette ranks well in that sphere of measurement as well. The problem is we hardly push the boat out for the players we truly NEED, most of the time. We need to d9 this more often and let the shackles go; we aren’t fooling anyone anymore about how financially well placed we are. It is public information and so it’s time to act like the big boys.

    On Alexis, I see a few pining away at the possibility of his moving to Manchester United rather than City, which most prefer as the better evil, given previous with RvP. I can understand such sentiments but if United are willing to pay us what we ask for and throw in a player like Miki to boot, I will take such a deal and keep the other sentiments aside. Besides, the player should be pushing for a United move, seeing as they are willing to pay hima handsome sign on fee of £30m, £400k/week salary and another bagful for his agents (are these figures touted in the press real?). At his age, that’s more than he could have hoped for. I only hope Ozil isn’t looking at the scenario playing out and wondering about himself too. But as PE has stated, why not sign on Ozil’s dotted line instead of dithering over terms?

  • Kev, something fundamental about our coaches is linked to the injuries.
    Nonetheless that today’s kids are a shadow of our old selves, as they are mentally not as strong and have not been through much obstacles, and the 2 games that we played with mostly youngsters (vs Bournemouth and vs Notts Forest) ended lob-sided.

    We can be relying on one or 2 good youngsters, but the PL is not a U23 league and should not be taken lightly.

  • Hey Kev, cheers. I hear only good things about Vlad Dragomir as well. If he makes it into the first team, I can imagine he will have a song, easy. 🧛‍♂️🧛‍♀️

    Jeff bossed it in the 1st half and could easily have scored 3 in that half alone. Nketiah is on the rise and does love to score goals; seems to love nothing more than to be found in space to score. His run for his first goal was sensational too.

    Highlights on the club site :

  • Hi all.. Hi PE.. Great post

    So assuming that Ozil stay and Sanchez + Walcott gone.. I hope Welbeck also.. Hehehe.. We need two strong winger on both side..
    And I’m glad enough if Zaha and Mahrez come.. And Perez back..
    But if we add Evan and Goretzka it will be more than great..

  • Cheers Eris, no luck on You Tube, but I did see that fantastic free kick from Reiss Nelson again.

    84, yep, I see your point, but it was different back in the mid 1980’s, we still had the Football Combination, Retsub will tell you all about it 🙂, and with that competition you had a mix of youth, reserve and 1st teamers. So someone like Rocky Rocastle as a 16 or 17 year old could find himself playing alongside Graham Rix or Steve Williams against maybe a left back who had some 200 senior games and was coming back from injury or had been dropped. The experience of having senior players alongside you, coaching you as you played, passing on advice and also facing an experienced pro meant you grew up quick, you was a man at 17/18/19.

    Nowadays the youth players seem a little more cosseted, plus the jump to league football back in the 1980’s isn’t as big as it is now.

  • PE, that was a very good post, I must say, and before the Bournemouth game I felt that a top four spot was easily within our grasp, but now I’m not so sure as the gap has grown to 8 points and I can see us losing a few more League games before the season ends.

    Arsenal are very much a cup team now, they cannot sustain any kind of form in the league where at one end of the spectrum we can beat Tottenham and at the other end lose to Stoke and Watford. But in the cups our players seem to galvanise themselves, especially when viewed as underdogs, where they can show what they can do in one off cup ties such as beating Man Utd at Old Trafford, beating Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea in FACup ties we were expected to lose. All that only adds to the frustrations of our fans at our bi-polar efforts in the EPL.

    Anyway, we are what we are and based on that it wouldn’t surprise me to see this squad finish 6th in the table but win both the League Cup and UEFA Cup, it’s what we do and if we do get to Lyon for the final, as I hope we do, then I’m gonna be there mate,

  • Kev, I find it difficult to talk about the team now as I don’t know which team. If it’s team without Ozil and Sanchez and without top replacements then that team is going nowhere. Keep Ozil, add say 2 vital signings and we have a chance to salvage something from the season.

  • St Henry/ Eris,
    We have become trapped in the thrift culture of our Emirate years. Gotten addicted to bargain shops. We’d give up on Auba because of £5M extra and then fall short of CL which potentially would be £40M or so lost.

  • HT,
    With you that Ozil will be hard to nail down if his MF attacking mates remain Welbeck and Iwobi. Big players like Messi, Ronaldo, Neymer often insist on players they want or don’t want.Ozil’s continuance with the club vis a vis new signings should be part of the overall negotiation.

  • Chan,
    I wouldn’t say no to two new exciting wingers but if we are bringing in only two players, I’d rather a good shield for our back line be one of them.

    It’s become clear that our leakage of goals is not due to formation or to personnel at the back. Time for us to begin to finger the midfield.

  • Excellent post, Pony. I am not totally giving up on 4th place, but we would need great luck and much better performances … there is time for consistency, I know we can do that, but will our rivals screw up enough. A long shot.
    It just feels as though the players stopped being properly motivated by Arsene about mid point of last season.

  • Jnyc,
    My hopes on 4th place would spring alive if we do something exciting thisTW.
    Goals difference is a more accurate marker of the strength of teams (pts award for wins, draws and losses are actually arbitrary).

    City +50
    Manu +32
    Liv +26
    Chl +25
    Burn -1

    This looks more like a top five. We need to act this TW.

  • PE.. We must subs Winger for Winger.. And Defender for defender.. Midfield for midfield..

    We already sold Coquelin.. So Goretzka will be great.. If we sell Sanchez than we must get another winger.. Zaha or Draxler or somebody that great in the right.. And so on..

  • Many good points PE.
    I do think the spending is coming. Don’t believe it will occur until end-of-season.
    There’s a big war chest– and ample time to act. Just don’t feel there is much but stop-gaps available in January. And January is when the prices are highest.
    Like £35M for a player with just several months left on a contract?

    On that note? Anyone have reservations about the rumor of Mkhitaryan coming this way in the deal? I’d hate to be smirked at with stifled laughter here– but– he could flourish in a ‘more technical side’. Might be the type required to jump-start Lacazette too (32 assists/all comps in 2015/16).


  • Mkhitaryan is a player I have admired, myself, jw1. He is an Arsenal type of player and if we get his old mate, Aubameyang in, there’s no telling what a partnership both can conjure alongside Laca and hopefully, Ozil. In fact, I will go as far as to say he is a player who can compensate for a bit of Ozil’s passing and chance creating qualities. Don’t be fooled by what’s happening with him at Man Utd. Mourinho destroys players’ confidence when things start to turn against him.

    I am reading Theo to Everton is almost done. All the transfer activities will still be short if we do nothing about our defending (a proper defensive midfielder will help, for sure) to stop the haemorrhaging of goals we experience currently.

  • Eris–
    We’ve been short of defenders for 2-3yrs. (in stating such, I’m agreeing!)
    I’m all for finding a PL-ready CB now (Jonny Evans, Winston Reid)– who could be cover for someone we spend on in the Summer.

    Aubameyang would slot-in nicely IMO too. Not going to break-the-bank either. Would rather have him than either of the misfit square pegs that Chavs and United forced each other to buy.


  • Piquing curiosity in Mkhitaryan?
    He’s the only footballer playing who speaks seven languages:
    Armenian, Russian, English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.
    Kolasinac might benefit from better communication.


  • FA Cup released this:

    (via The Independent)
    In the extraordinary incident report submitted by (Mike) Dean, he stated:

    “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’. He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying ‘you’re not honest’ on numerous occasions. I replied ‘so you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’.

    “He then said ‘you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.”

    Dean’s ‘mistake’ apology days later, simply salt-in-the-wound?


Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s