The One Player, Other than Ozil, Arsenal Cannot Let Go this January

It hurt a bit when we found out that Coquelin had left. Clearly, he was not able to hold on to a first team place anymore; and a player of his quality should not be warming the bench at the home of football. I wish him well at his new club. Arsene is struggling to get the balance right in midfield and, despite Le Coq signing a new contract last year, the gaffer must believe that Francis is not the answer (anymore). A real shame but we have to move on.

It felt more like a relief when Theo‘s move to Everton went through. At his age he should have been leading the team forward by now but all our investment in him did not lead to the sort of player you can bank on. He is as fast as Mertesacker is slow, and he takes his chances instinctively and fearlessly, but his footballing skills set is limited and, just like the other young Saints player we bought and came with sooo much promise, he is constantly in and out of games rather than an almost constant force. A nice, clever lad who no doubt will make it big in media/PR or marketing roles after his footballing career, but I don’t think many tears will flow at the home of football now that he has left for Fat Sam’s Toffees.

Alexis‘ departure continues to be imminent according to Wenger, and I guess most of us will feel a little sadness now he appears to be following the Judas’ path. I reckon we will play better as a team without him, as Lacazette has to become our main man for the goals and the team will have to focus harder on creating chances for him. With Alexis gone this will be easier. We will of course miss his ability to crack open a defence with his shots from around the box or his quick thinking in the box. I reckon he has a couple of top seasons in him, if he can stay fit that is. I wish him well but hope he will win nothing with the Mancs.

It looks like Wenger/Arsenal are playing chess with MU re Alexis. Mkhitaryan should come in return as Wenger wants to see Alexis replaced. We are also strongly linked with Aubameyang and, as per previous post, IF both would come our way before the end of the month, we can look forward to exciting, and hopefully winning, football in 2018.

The one player we cannot afford to let ago this January is the one who has the best song: Olivier Giroud. With Alexis gone, Ollie can work himself back into the team. He is the ultimate team player who creates space and opportunities for others and takes his chances at about a goal every other game. Aubameyang (hopefully) and Lacazette can work with him, and for Mesut Ozil he is also both a great chance converter and attacking pivot to work with.

Furthermore, Ollie is our supersub and a good team needs a supersub. He also offers a lot of support in defence when set-pieces need to be dealt with, and his work rate and love for the shirt are never in doubt.

So let’s keep hold of Giroud at least till the summer.

By TotalArsenal.

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33 Responses to The One Player, Other than Ozil, Arsenal Cannot Let Go this January

  1. Goonereris says:

    Almost thought it was an article about Jack, you know. 😉 As important as Giroud is to the side, as a super sub, I am pretty sure he will be happier to remain main man or something more than a bit-part player. But, it is what it is and he must know, himself, he does have some qualities that are useful, mostly in certain situations/scenarios or with a tactical switch.

    I like that you’ve characterized Theo as a PR/media savvy type; I do hope when he is ready, he will come do that role at Arsenal. He is a man who understands the need for a good image and carries himself well at interviews, picking his words carefully and with intent. He is liked by his teammates and despite being frustrating at times, adored by the fans.

    Mhkitaryan coming looks done subject to some loose ends being tied up but already, United fans are already ecstatic which makes you wonder when they will be satisfied (after paying top money for so many big stars). I still feel some outlets have deliberately grossed up Alexis’ entire compensation package, front-loading some incomes that are (at best) conditional and therefore, speculative, including Image rights, broadcast rights, etc., thus making up the predominant figure of £500k/week. That will be disruptive to the dressing room after the initial euphoria. I wish them the best with the man.

  2. AB says:

    Hi TA. It’s a most unusual January window eh!? I agree with the general sentiments above. I don’t know where it went wrong for Coq. He was our lynchpin a couple of seasons ago. But he is too easily passed by these days. I’m sorry to see hi. Go because we don’t have another of his ilk available. Clearly AMN may get there and beyond. But he’s a work in progress.

    Theo, yes I wish him well. I’m not so sure about the media side. He always seems to be using cliche when I listen to him. Positive cliche. But never with any real conviction. Whether he can get past that and offer either real insight or plain spoken opinion we shall see. But I’ve yet to see it in him.

    Sanchez I can’t wish well I’m afraid. I don’t wish harm on him. But he can do one. He has sulked and postured and then gone for cash rather than football. I can’t admire the man whatever his football abilities may be.

    Giroud I agree with your assessment. But I fear the numbers suggest Wenger will let him go if stars align. Bringing in both Mikhi and Auba and keeping Danny on means he isn’t going to get much game time in the PL. barring injury anyway. And there’s no space for a youngster in the mix either. I think he will go in the summer if he doesn’t go in January. Assuming both arrivals are indeed banked.

    I can’t complain about this TW if it goes as above. And if we could do the two key contract extensions then it could be viewed as a triumph! We should have a more varied squad in attack, a more united team, and some fresh energy. With our injured players returning that gives cause for cautious optimism. We are not there yet of course. But the signs are promising.

  3. AB says:

    I should have said above, while the signs for the Mikhi swap seem really strong, the Auba picture is much more hazy. We’ve had this kind of story too often before. And it’s not happened. The sale of Sanchez means that may be less likely here, but there feels a lot to get over to land a big buy that the selling club don’t appear to want to make. Are we being used by the player to improve his contract or attract other bid, or are we using him as a foil while we go for less obvious targets, or is it all totally legit? Hard to judge.

  4. jw1 says:

    TA, AB–
    Thinking that Wenger re-signed LeCoq last year in relation to his teamwork with Santi.
    Each allowed the other to prosper at what they did best. With it apparent that Cazorla has just the slimmest (if any) hope of returning to the pitch– Coquelin’s value to the team diminishes. Further, there are now, seemingly, a troika of minds determining the combination of players that make up the team.

    There aren’t any of our players I dislike (even among those departed or departing). But sentiment has no place in determining the team’s near-term makeup.

    So? Let’s do the swap. Let’s press on for PEA. Let’s recall Lucas Perez– and play him (dammit!).
    Becoming a much faster and greater skilled group on offense– would change the dynamic in positive fashion IMHO.


  5. jw1 says:

    Think both players would see the opportunity to ‘get the band back together’ as good thing.

    PEA was held out of last weekend’s match — and for tomorrow’s too. That’s a pretty solid sign he’s moving. The only other chatter I’d heard was that Chelsea was sniffing around.


  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Eris, AB and JW, will get back to you tomorrrow. ⚽️⚽️⚽️

  7. jw1 says:

    T’was the night before transfer…
    ‘The Gooners were nestled all snug in their beds,
    While visions of attackers danced in their heads…’


  8. Jnyc says:

    Good post T. But I must agree with Eris…Giroud deserves to be the #1 option for a team. I have so much respect for the way he battles, hustles,
    sacrifices his body, and for his overall good looks, though I really despise this beard trend.

    I think lacazette fits our style better. And I will not allow myself to be disappointed by transfer rumors until they’re official. So no comment on the exciting news stories. The more exciting, the more disappointed I can be.

  9. Pony Eye says:

    All the transfer noise coming our way is acting as a fillip to everybody. That’s part and parcel of good management which has been missing in our affairs for so long. Unbelievable Wenge even seemed to have talked a little bit too much. It felt like transfusing an anemic patient, us. I hope it all ends well.

    Giroud is loved but if Auba joins OG becomes No. 3. I don’t see OG happy in that role particularly with the World Cup coming up. The best thing for all parties would be a parting of ways. We cannot eat our cake and have it.

    I must confess that as much as am excited by the names Auba and Mkhitaryan they are again two that don’t contribute much when we don’t have the ball. So am still hoping another name that kinda sounds like N’golo or Matic pops up.

  10. allezkev says:

    With the World Cup only being months away I think that Giroud will want a move, it makes sense for him from a personal perspective and for Arsenal it would make great business sense given his age. Olivier needs to play, his national manager has said so and at 31 we are drinking at the Last Chance Saloon if we want some transfer value from him.

    From a football perspective Arsenal will be losing a valuable weapon, a Plan B, but then again Giroud is too good to sit on the bench and if Aubameyang comes in then PEA is going to be the centre-forward, or at least he should be for £53m or however much the club eventually pay.

    Why do transfers these days drag on and on and on???

  11. jw1 says:

    Kev sez:
    “Why do transfers these days drag on and on and on???”
    Hmm. Because of updates-every-quarter-hour?

    I’m mixed on OG. Might be that it’s due to my having been one of the minority who has held him in esteem since he arrived. These last two seasons or so– with talk becoming sharper about a voluntary departure? I’ve felt that part of Ollie’s decision-making is couched in a loyalty not seen often these days. Giroud would retire both a Gunner and a (cult) hero for finishing his top-tier career at Arsenal.

    He’s simply one of those players you WANT on your team. He gives all, all the time.


  12. allezkev says:

    JW, no mate, they drag on and on and on because of agents.

    Apparently Arsenal agents up to a maximum of 7%, so maybe and not surprisingly given his history, Raiola isn’t happy with that and the hold up is due to his commission and who is going to pay him off, us or ManU..?

    I did read that Mkhitaryan was all set to sign for us in 2016, but that Wenger pulled the plug. Was that anything to do with Raiola and his financial demands?
    I mean look at how much that parasite earned from the Pogba deal.
    And for what???

  13. jw1 says:

    Yep, I get that Kev.
    Raiola is also Mourinho’s and Ibrahimovich’s and Lukaku’s agent (and other ManUers I believe).
    So if he wants to ask for cash? Get it from the United cash cow.
    You just know the Grifting One gets his % too.

    Whether the Whiny One truly wants Alexis? Or simply doesn’t want Pep to have him? Is a valid question. Look back at how he and Raiola thieved Lukaku from Chelsea– and forced Chavs into Morata. Could be similar motivation.

    Plus? The longer it takes this deal to get done? The less time there will be to get a Aubameyang deal consummated (possibly scuttling it). Raiola will get paid.

    IMO the Mkhitaryan deal has to be done– before Auba will come.


  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Eris, there is no risk of Jack leaving this January, but, yes, he needs to be kept of course.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    AB, do you think Kolasinac could be the beast DM? Maybe he and Maitland-Niles will share the left wing back and DM roles between them…

    Re Theo: yes he says the cliches but they are usually the right ones at the right time. Shearer is so dour and full of predictable statements and cliches, and yet he is one of the best paid BBC staff. I reckon Theo could do that role with his eyes closed!

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    AB and others, I cannot see Wenger letting Ollie go too. We need some continuity and Giroud is a safe pair of hands. I honestly expect Wenger to play two out of three of Giroud, Aubameyang and lacazette (and most possibly Welbz, but hopefully not) in our remaining games. The departure of Sanchcash will reinvigorate and reestablish Le Handsome!! 🏄🏽‍♂️

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    JW, good call re Coq and Santi.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Jw at 13.33 lovely comment and agreed. ⚔️

  19. jw1 says:

    Ya’ know TA?
    AMN’s confidence with the ball in close quarters– seems beyond his years.
    Would not compare to, say, Cazorla (few can be)– but Arteta might be a like reflection.
    What’s been missing is the MF who can link (like Per and Arteta/Cazorla) to quicken transition. AMN could be that player.


  20. TotalArsenal says:

    The only thing to take into account is that youngsters go through stages and they often struggle for a while when expectations get raised…. think Iwobi and Bellerin

  21. Pony Eye says:

    Konstantinos Mavpropanos at 6ft 3.5 ins is quite quick for his height. He is a physical presence. Excellent in the air, good tackler, good passer. Could he be the Vieira mk2?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    PE, we cannot have him in midfield: with that name he’ll take up too much space on the team sheet! 📃

  23. Pony Eye says:

    KM will do the trick.

  24. jw1 says:

    Did come across a post on the U23s 4-0 win over MU earlier this week.
    Where the article mentioned that ‘KM’ played well in his debut (in a back-3) and looked good passing the ball too. I noted he was also booked– though couldn’t find more details.


  25. allezkev says:

    JW, no mate, the agent of The Sociopathic One is Jorge Mendez, another parasite who enjoys that sickening term ‘Super Agent’….

    Both Mendez and Raiola are anathema to everything that Arsene Wenger believes in, but unfortunately like a lot of things in top football nowadays he has been left behind because everyone else deals with these scumbags and they have, again unfortunately, many of the best players around and if we want the best players we’ve just gotta dance with the devil.

  26. jw1 says:

    There’s a big-pain-in-the-butt baseball ‘super agent’ here stateside named Scott Boras.
    He frequently plays clubs against one another in the media– to his client’s (and his!) benefit– with no qualms or effects to himself.

    Our MVP second-baseman Jose Altuve– and several other of our World Series Champion Houston Astros– are clients of Boras. We have some tied to club-friendly contracts through 2021– some through 2019. End of this next season– it’s going to get expensive for our owner.

    But the difference is that we’ve not overpaid to GET the trophy.
    Though we may have to to get another.

    And honestly? I believe that Arsenal is in the midst of doing something similar. That by the time they will be competitive again for the PL title? That a player like Sanchez will not have been worth the money they’d have to pay him– through to that juncture.

    No reason blowing a huge hole in your wage structure at a time when you can’t win the title.


  27. allezkev says:

    JW, you can see why ManC pulled out, not because of the fee Arsenal wanted, well not the main reason, but the wages that Alexis wanted, not least the commission his agent wanted – it’s been reported as £15m, quite astonishing…

    I bet that the LA Rams don’t do any business with Scott Boras?
    Billy Beane would have a seizure at the thought…

  28. allezkev says:

    Apparently Wenger had Alexis in mind to play some part against Palace (later today) with Welbeck said to have dropped out with an injury.

    But if rumours are to be believed then Alexis said his goodbyes to everyone last night around 11pm and left the team hotel. So we might be waking up (UK time) to some positive developments in this saga.

  29. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Hi TA..
    So we already sold our two best winger.. Walcott and Sanchez..
    Nothing can we say more about Sanchez, it’s good to sell him now for some price rather to let him free next six months..

    But Walcott.. Why can he get his time..??
    I think the main reason is the formation that Wenger playing nowadays.. 3-4-2-1.. With two wingback.. We don’t need a pure winger anymore.. And that’s why Walcott stay on bench.. Bellerin take his rules in attack, and he playing more and more mature.. Hopefully Will be better everyday.. Hehehe..

    Assuming my theory is right.. Then, with Ozil stay.. We will only need to find Sanchez replacement.. Cause we still have 3 CF with Lacazette, Giroud and Welbeck..

    If the rumors about Aubameyang coming to reality.. What position will he be.. In our team..?? Will he be Sanchez replacement or Lacazette switch position..??
    And what about Mhkitaryan (better to call him Miki)..?? Which post will he play..??
    Will Wenger stop after this two players..??

    I believe Ozil will get his first place first.. The other players will adjust.. Hehehe..
    Interestingly how will our first team be next week..??
    Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Elneny all in uncertain position.. And now we talking about playing Kolasinac and Niles in DM position..??

  30. Pony Eye says:

    TA/HT….. a mail in your box.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    PE, cheers. Will publish it around 12.30.

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