Wonderful Wednesday: Aubameyang is a Gunner, Ozil Signs New Deal; Jack, Luiz and DM Beast to follow?

Well let’s not talk about last night’s defeat and just indulge in Arsenal’s transfer window triumphs. We sold the ones who were on the fringes of the team OR wanted to leave; the only exception being Giroud, who will be truly missed at the home of football, both for his character and passion for the shirt and his important goals, assists and pre-assists. The latter has not been confirmed as far as I know, so let’s not see this as a given just yet.

But the very good news is that we are re-uniting two players at the very summit of their football careers: Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang. PEA has now been confirmed by the club and that is great news.


However, the even better news is that Ozil has agreed a new deal if we believe David Ornstein of the BBC, who has this to say:

Mesut Ozil has ended months of speculation over his future by signing a new three-and-a-half-year contract to remain at Arsenal until the summer of 2021.
The 29-year-old playmaker becomes the highest-paid player in the club’s history – earning around £350,000 per week before tax – in a deal completed this morning.
Ozil would have been a free agent at the end of the season and was able to speak to foreign clubs from 1 January, but Arsenal tied him to fresh terms after lengthy negotiations.
An agreement was finally reached last weekend and the Germany international put pen to paper at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground earlier today.
It will potentially see Ozil’s career with the Gunners extend to eight years, having joined from Real Madrid in 2013 for a then club record £42.4m, and take him to the age of 32.
The 2014 World Cup winner has registered 36 goals in 182 appearances and is statistically among the most prolific creators of scoring opportunities in European football.

If this is correct, Ozil will be earning as much – if not more depending on which news sources you read – as Sanchez. This is a clear indication that Wenger rated Ozil a lot more  than Sanchez, and I am very happy that we kept our creative hub and let the nincompoop leave to Mourinho’s Devils (doesn’t he look silly in that ugliest of shirts with the golden cross on a red background?!).

Now we need an announcement re Jack Wilshere and let’s hope it is a good one. I am convinced he will sign a new contract for us and become a pivotal player in the key part of his football career.

This is how could line up this weekend against the Toffees:

submit football lineup

More to come?

The one thing that would make a lot of Gunners very, very happy is the signing of a Beasts of a DM. If Arsenal were to pull this one off today, I think we will all go ecstatic. I doubt whether Arsenal is looking for such a player, as it is clear that Arsene prefers to play with two allround midfielders in front of the Back-Four, rather than one, or two, specialist DM(s). Having said that, he made space in the squad by selling Francis Coquelin and Wenger is struggling to get the balance right in the team; to do so, he will need to get the midfield sorted.

A quality defender to stand in for Koz if and when required would also be very welcome…. The rumours re David Luiz joining us keep surfacing, but surely this cannot be true?!

A few more hours to go on this already wonderful Wednesday….. How will it all end?!!!!

By TotalArsenal.

123 thoughts on “Wonderful Wednesday: Aubameyang is a Gunner, Ozil Signs New Deal; Jack, Luiz and DM Beast to follow?

  • Hey TA–
    Thrilled that Ozil has committed.
    Can we agree that the ‘backroom types’ had a plan? 🙂


  • They had a plan and are executing it to perfection, it seems (except for the OG departure but something had to give it appears…).

    Feeling great right now. Ozil signing is the best news of it all and I have no doubt he would not have done so if the club had not signed the two ex-Dortmund players…

  • Think it was always a matter of surrounding Ozil with creative and/or scoring players.
    That it occurred in this window was the imperative. To keep the grail of ‘leaving on a free’ in the summer from materializing.

    Makes me wonder how long the Alexis/Mkhi deal with Mourinho had actually been simmering? Advantageous too, were the timing of City’s injuries. Had Sane gone down last month– the picture could look much different today.


  • We’ve got Ozil.. Mesut Ozil..

    And Aubameyang too!

    It came (likely) at the cost of letting Giroud, Walcott, and Coquelin, 3 great servants of the club, leave for pastures anew but we’ve certainly revamped our attack and I would say upgraded it. Especially without Alexis at his worst. (A good deal for Miki too)

    Also we signed a commercial partnership with the online currency thing. Why is this important? Because excluding any new commercial growth, we are restricted to an increase of only 7m in wages p.a. That is only about 135k/wk.

    Back of the envelope calculations, Coq – 80k, Theo – 140, Alexis – 140, Giroud 100, Debuchy 80 = 540k

    Miki – 180, Auba – 180, Ozil (increase of) 200k = 560k

    So we’re probably about level on overall wages as before. I’m of course only guessing at the figures, but to go about retooling and, dare I say, upgrading, our attack at virtually no cost, wage or transfer, is fantastic work from Arsenal. Some rumours we’re still in for another signing, though not sure who or in which position.

    After the disappointment of yesterday, this has been very welcome news indeed.

    ..I just don’t think you understand..

  • I think you got the sums about right there, Shard. I guess one of the youngsters will be promoted to the first team squad to make up the numbers in attack. Laca, PEA, Welbeck……

  • Shard–
    Talk of Max Meyer (MF/Schalke) who is winding down this Summer.
    Number I heard was £17.5M– so Schalke doesn’t lose him on a free.


  • Hi all.. Great news after bad day.. Hehehe..
    Can’t wait to see it happened..
    Just a pity Aubameyang can’t play for UEL..

    TA..almost agreed with you about the lineup.. But I think Mustafi must given a punishment after a bad game.. Like as Xhaka..
    So I Prefer Monreal in the middle and give the LB post to Kolasinac..

  • It has to be Nketiah then TA. Can’t think of anyone else who’s been close to the first team in that position. Mind you, we’re just as likely to play with Ozil or Miki as a false 9 if it come to it.

    If we’re getting Max Meyer, I think I’d be happy. A ball carrying midfield player. The only one we have now is Jack and he, like Santi, has been injury prone. No harm in getting in another technical midfielder.

  • Akpom’s supposed to be leaving for a club in Belgium.

    Shame about him. He got injured just when it seemed he was on the verge of breaking through to the first team and opportunity never struck again. But life goes on, and Eddie is already ahead of him in Wenger’s mind. So, Eddie it is.

  • Agree with Nketiah– and as a #3 CF. Why not? See what he might do till May.
    Rumors of Welbeck to West Ham today– a la OG for WC reasons.


  • OK. I just had to. Every couple of months a headline pops into my feed– and I indulge myself, to remind myself how nasty the negativity can be surrounding our club.

    Just did so a moment ago– and visited Le Grove.
    And have to concur with the age-old-adage: “There’s nothing worse than a dry drunk.”
    Except? When the nasty-negative? Go born-again-Arsenal-full-tilt.
    “They” were right all along! See?SEE?!

    Oh Lord. Save us.


  • Alex Song it’s reported is training at London Colney.
    Rubin Kazan has been unable to pay it’s players for the last 4 months.
    Wenger has invited Song to train at the facility.


  • Wow.. It must be the most complicated TW ever in Wenger history..
    Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud.. Three strikers..
    It seem Debuchy also left..

    But at least we still able to pursuit Ozil to stay..
    There’s already a new name for our strikers.. LMAO.. Hehehe..

    Song.. Why not..??
    He used to be our great DM.. And he will be a great backup.. If Wenger really want to play 4-3-3 formation again..

    TA.. Back to Mustafi.. Pool did a good example for his 75M new agent who did the wrong thing twice.. So Why didn’t we try it also..??Mustafi isn’t the most expensive player we have.. And please.. We must admit it.. He did some mistakes.. Like other also.. So, a punishment needed for every players to keep them compete and growing.. Hehehe..

  • If Walcott and our new Signing Aubameyang play in Sunday.. Then we will see our ten years #14 against our new #14..
    Which #14 will our legend #14 Henry choose to win the game.. Hehehe..

  • Interesting new from Giroud in Chelsea.. He was sold for 18M for 18 months long and he will wear #18 shirt..

  • TA.. A great big thing is coming.. Kostas Manolas from Roma..
    I hope it isn’t a fatal punishment to Mustafi.. Hehehe..

  • OK, I’m gonna weigh in…for better or worse…

    First off, I’m not sure we can put yesterday’s game completely to one side. THAT was just about unwatchable–literally. Arsenal no longer get on television (here in the States, at least…) when teams like Liverpool are playing. Hmmmm… They were on Spanish language TV for their last match (league cup semis vs Chelsea) so I have hopes I’ll be able to watch the final in Puerto Vallarta… 😀 … How do you do the emoji with the sunglasses and the smirk…

    Thanks to JW for the link yesterday that allowed me to see a good deal of the match. Every minute or so, the feed would freeze for 7 or 8 seconds… I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything worth watching. Individual mistakes, obviously were a killer, but maybe it was the choice to take out my avatar guy (Elneny) who seems key these days for orchestrating our team defense and play out of the back. Also, let’s not forget that Ozil was fouled in the build-up to their equalizer… We’re gonna pay 350K/week to a guy who’s not tough enough for English football?…

    No, no… Of course, I’m extremely excited that Ozil has extended and that we’ve refreshed our team with some interesting–and mature–players. The ability of Theo and Le Coq to contribute in meaningful ways were almost as absurd as the idea that Debuchy might. And, Alexis, not quite a team player, though obviously an exceptional talent, wasn’t producing the goal and assist numbers we needed from him. Miki and PEA looked good against us a few years back in the CL and it’s a good sign that they (along with Ozil) seem to think we have enough to get back into that competition. Yesterday’s game–combined with Liverpool–getting back up to 8 pts ahead (effectively 9 on GD) means we probably need to win the Europa League. Hopefully we can avoid Atletico Madrid, amongst others…

    In truth, I’ve been at a loss for what to write about Arsenal. I like the hopefulness of some of the posts (and comments) but Wenger clearly must prioritize results over any sort of “sexy” football. And, of course, we’re still playing the numbers game, so cult heroes (Giroud), who could be very useful and he goes to a quote-unquote “rival.” That would suggest that the brain-trust believe we cannot hope to catch them, though we (at least) won’t face them again this season…

    Then there’s the WOB which seems to include just about everybody here (there and everywhere, if we’re gonna quote Beatles songs…) Suddenly we’re celebrating Gazidis for bringing in the Dortmund and Barca guys and limiting the poison which is Arsene to just what happens ON the pitch. Of course, I don’t see it that way. What I see is a guy who is showing massive flexibility to adjust to modern times and his own advancing age. The HUGE thing, IMO, is that now we’ve got players making more money than he is, which, if “follow the money” is a worthwhile mantra–means he’s not the most important character at the club. Big shoes there, Mesut, but if anybody can make the others play better it’s Ozil. Win Europa league, a second consecutive World Cup and then show your stuff in the CL and it could be a very nice thing for Arsenal.

    Those are just dreams. Clouds in my coffee, rather than pipe dreams, sorry Kev. We have to accept where we’re at NOW and build from there. Yesterday–like most of the pre-window periods (August: Losses at Stoke and ‘Pool, December/Jan: Too many draws plus losses at Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and now Swansea) have put us out in the two biggest domestic comps. Can we win the little one vs Man City (gulp) or the little one in Europe (vs Atletico, Napoli, Dortmund, or a host of teams we’ve never heard of)… That’s probably our best chance… And at least we have two legs (until the final) if the bounces don’t go our way…

    Spurs up after 10 seconds! Now that’s a team I could get behind!!! 😉 for TA…

  • Anybody wanna chat, that’s how I prefer to watch my “neutral” football, anyhow…

  • Of course, I’ve been keeping up with the blog and I wanted to give a particular shout out to Shard for tracking the spending and noting that it’s (pretty much) ALL about the salaries these days…

    On that note, however, I think we need to accept that, while exciting, transfers in will tend to disappoint… It’s simply the nature of the game… More failure than success in football, I fear, with the grass always greener (than at the Grove) wherever a player is plying their trade. This was something I read about PEA. It’s worth a read, I think… http://7amkickoff.com/index.php/2018/01/17/aubameyang-not-your-average-arsenal-striker/

    Look at Kolasinac and Lacazette, now our 4th and 5th best paid players (1st and 2nd until Miki’s arrival)… Big fees or not, salaries are STILL being used a sticks with which to beat our own players–and those two are struggling (the latter on the bench, the former at least on the pitch…) Here in the States we’re well past that sort of stuff, believing that a player is just a player and we should be glad we’ve got him if he’s worth a bunch of money. Hell, we even think that way about our leaders. A Billionaire giving himself tax breaks (among other far more corrupt practices) becomes the hero of the little man… (and woman, of a certain color, only, of course…)

    Politics should be avoided I know, but it’s the culture of blame that kills me the worst… which is why I wish, like JW did with his political blogging, that I could quit this (football) blogging thing. From EVERY corner of the Goonersphere it comes (even here, I fear…) Like they say on Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you…”

    In the meantime, let’s go get us a defender in these next coupla hours, no matter how silly his hair might be…

  • Damn, still no one…

    I guess people take their neutral football more seriously than I do…

    On that note, does anybody else think Spurs have pulled a major coup picking up Lucas Moura? He’s looked awfully good whenever I’ve seen him play (which, truth be told, isn’t very often)…

    Phil Jones OG, Totts up by 2…

  • Haha… I just went to check on the Everton goals… Theo always got an unfair rap–at least in recent seasons… Hopefully Auba (no, I think I prefer PEA…) can take up the slack… Gotta assume, Wenger will (only) ease him in from the bench… (Or is that where Laca is headed?…)

  • I will chat 17 HT. see Theo has got two for Everton, very pleased for him.

    Not enjoying the Spurs game. Other than the look on Sanchez face. Looks like he swallowed a swarm of wasps

  • Some close ups of Alexis… who has the fly-catcher (open mouth disbelief?…) going…

    Losing to Spurs?… I coulda done that with my last club!!

  • Nice simul-post, there, retsub…

    You must be beside yourself that our club has “rewarded” Ozil with the insane contract… 😉

  • Think Hoddle has it right. Phil Jones has lost it. Get in his face and he will lose it again

  • Hey J-dub… I’ve been living on your vision of better days ahead and a plan of action at our club… Still, I think you should be doing match reports… The Palace match was easy… What about yesterday’s?… 😀 😦

  • Of late?… But now we’ve got him for 3.5 years… That’s a looooonnng time… Tell us how you really feel… 😉 (Just a bit of banter, eh…)

  • Alexis will have to keep warm with his money (and his dogs)… Half time… Think I’ll opt for a tea… A bit late for coffee…

  • 17HT when he is good he is very very good, but when he is bad he is awful. Ok not awful

  • Read that thing I linked to from the West Coast stat man (7amkickoff)… All of PEA’s goals are from inside the box… Seems a bit P(ea)oachy, which is not all bad… I’m no formation guy but that sounds like a 442 (4411?, maybe). As long as he moves more than Alexis w/o the ball, I’ll be a happy camper…you know, except for all the stuff about the game I’ve come to loathe… more smileys (and frowneys)…

  • Ozil’s never awful, IMO… Needs teammates who understand spacing and movement… But no man is (or should be) an island…

  • I reckon Lacazette will be very effective from the left, in the ex-Sanchez position, so in a three with Auba and Mesut or as per line up in the post above.

  • 17HT I read it when you posted it. Sounds like Ian Wright to me,
    .buta serious question what is wrong with Lacazette ? Is it the service he is getting? Or him? I suspect the former

  • Where’s JW… Checking the latest on our incoming defender? 🙂

    Ooh… Bournemouth on top in South London (Chelsea)… Didn’t they beat them there in their first season up? We’re gonna need some of these relegation fighters to score some upsets in this final third of the season. (Sad) question, however: is beating Arsenal seen as an upset these days?

  • Agreed about service and Laca, retsub… We were static in the extreme yesterday with no room for guys like Rambo (nor Xhaka, nor Iwobi) to make runs in behind when Laca came deep to do his false 9 stuff. I gotta admit… I think we missed Jack yesterday who can (sometimes) break through defenses with smart shielding and running onto the ball… Kolasinac (as part of a back 5) might’ve also done some damage getting in behind. Why can’t he get off the bench, I wonder…

  • Caring is a killer… That’s why it’s good to be a neutral…

    Totts having the better of it early in the 2nd half, though Alexis almost had a blocked ball fall kindly for a teammate…

  • Listening on arsenal player I thought Jack was playing. Took me a good 10 to 15. Inutes to realise he was AWOL

  • I know that it’s difficult to swallow that this season was likely to be no better than it is.
    But I’d believed I’d seen the long-game– and had prepared to grin and bear it.

    That’s not a boastful comment– to brave-face the mediocrity. And in honesty, I expected it to take until Summer– before the retooling had begun full-bore. So I’m grateful. We’ve moved along those in a TW where there was a smaller selection of available players– likely getting as much value as we could for several who were not playing PL football.

    We changed the attack almost completely. We tied down the player (Ozil) providing the most goal-scoring chances (1000+) in world football since 2006 . We’ve signed a guy who will bang home chances like that. We (and I use this word kindly) ‘rid’ ourselves of the bane that Alexis had become. We replaced him with another ambipedal playmaker– who could be our new Cazorla.

    And we’re heading into a WC Summer– with a positive net-spend though all of this!
    I can’t wait to see what shopping for defenders at the World Cup might bring.

    Anyway. I’ve no time for pessimism.I’m sticking with my long-stated Job-like patience.
    Appreciating the long-game; which has admirably shortened in these last 2 weeks.


  • Ibra is to sign with MLS LA Galaxy.
    Perfect fit. And finally. In a town where everyone’s ego is as big or bigger than his.


  • Nice JW… That is a comment that might sustain me…

    Retsub… So, if you win the league, the following season you get sacked… Wenger’s looking smarter than ever…by, you know, failing to win the league and, in fact, realizing that lowering expectations might just be the key to happiness… There are always new folks (in upwardly mobile Islington) happy to take the season tickets the sick and tired folks might want to give up…

    Or maybe they see what JW is talking about…

    One question, however, for JW, don’t these guys want (or need) CL football?

  • jw1. Just a thought we have just sold three strikers with what must be 300 goals between them. I am Guessing Rambo is our top scorer now? It’s a big ask

  • JNYC, Not sure what you’re saying about Alexis needing Giroud for the end of his chips. Surely Lukaku is the superior target-man, no? (And now, maybe Fellaini…)

  • Best tracking tackle I’ve seen Alexis make in YEARS… The other (Spurs) Sanchez made an equally good (standing tackle) other end, however…

  • 17ht I don’t know the Russians very well, but I know the guys from the Emirates very well. City are a plaything to boost tourism. Once they get bored and they will, it will end very quickly

  • That’s why we need that defender before the deadline, retsub… Who are we getting (JW? Others?) The Greek (Kosta Manolas) or the freak (David Luiz)…

  • Leicester have pulled one back at Everton… Must be Theo failing to track back… 😉

    Oooh…Gotta cross that one, Son…

    Interesting about the Princes, Emirs and Oily-garchs, retsub…

    Fellaini off with injury just after coming on… Moo out of milk today, perhaps…

  • We have a couple of things going for us– even without top-4, even if we can’t take the EL entry. The club will now be viewed as ambitious.

    This Summer, Harry Kane will be bought. Maybe Alli too. Poch to Real? Tottenham will drop into WHL post-partum austerity depression. Pool is an enigma; and spent half their CoutinhoCash on a decent defender. I think Chelsea is about to sink (Starting today!). Props to OG– but he’s not the answer. (Aubameyang may be the last CF of his grade available for less than silly money. Though Leipzig’s Timo Werner looks the real thing.).

    I honestly feel we are positioning to be competitive to win the PL within another 18 months.


  • I like Luiz, a little crazy maybe but entertains. See Belik is off to Walsall on loan.

    I give City 3 to 5 years max. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are in constant competition who has the best airline, best hotel. Best shopping mall etc.. but at the end of the day, Etihad is the Arabic word for unite or united. Hmmmmm

  • I have zero insider knowledge, retsub… But, following the money, 500M to 1B seems a pittance for what must be the greatest marketing item (to help with cleansing of a bad reputation) for an Emirate whose net worth is close to 50 or 100 Billion(?)… To me, it seems like the money, like the oil, should just keep flowing, with more bad actors wanting to get into the fray (and buy up additional teams)… Oil price up just a tick today but close to $65/bbl…

  • Dele Ali just kicked a lump out of Alexis. Glen Hoddle couldn’t understand why he did it.. I do, he will be a folk hero for Spurs after that. The other commentator seems to think Alexis told him how much he was earning, lol

  • We’ve got Spurs at Wembley in just 10 days… Gulp… At least based on their complete dominance today…

    Of course, we’ve got a bit of a home-field advantage at the National stadium what with all those FA cup (semis and finals) in recent years. I know, I know… They don’t count as trophies, but still… 😦 😀

  • Notice how Roman A has taken his checkbook away?
    If it can happen at Chelski– it can happen anywhere.


  • Are you listening, retsub, or watching too?… Do they black out these weeknight games as well? Here you have to pay extra for all but the one they choose to show…

  • 17HT. The wealth of Abu Dhabi has long been speculated by people in the financial industry. There are mutiple govt agencies beneath the Sovereign wealth fund,. But I suspect your valuation of thr Emirates wealth is a tad on the low side. You are of course right City are a spit in the ocean. there are multiple Crown princes and one them will grow tired of their toy

  • Maybe you guys are right… Abramovic will be paying two manager salaries momentarily, however…

    Plus, relative to the Putin/Trump axis, he must be feeling rather poor these days…

  • I am watching 17HT. I pay a fortune for both B T sport and Sky who share the English prem. I only watch Arsenal and games relating to them. Incidentally our boys played just a well against United and got zilch

  • One more thing before I go get on the freeway and head home.
    Does it seem like this season we’ve always managed catch relegation teams just after they’ve brought in a new manager that’s gotten the team fired up?
    West Ham. West Brom. Swansea.

    Not to say we didn’t play poorly at Swansea– we did.
    But Moyes had West Ham tying City– and WBA was a ‘W’ until we got Deaned.
    Just a lot of weird things this season– that don’t feel altogether coincidental.


  • OK, Round 24 of the league is in the books… Now just the final hour of the window to watch… THAT definitely makes the US television…

    14 rounds to go but JW says it’s already over but that it doesn’t matter… Hmmm… I wonder if we’ll see a bounce with the signings… First Theo’s team then off to Wembley. 6 pts from those would go down a tonic, eh?…

  • 17HT the only thing I can confirm is Spurs v Arsenal is so intense, form goes out of the window. It’s anyones game

  • OK, I’ll probably stick around for the countdown (even if I’ll probably hate myself for doing so)… Anybody else?

  • Jw1.i think that’s the beauty of the prem anyonre can beat anyone except City of course. But how long will Pep stay at City. History says not too long.

  • What do you think about it being at Wembley? To me, it seems a big plus. In truth, I think we’ll get a bump from today’s news. Lucas Moura, however (JW) seems a very good signing, esp. if Spurs lose a couple of players in the summer. Having them kicked out of the top 4 would likely spark even more turnover… That said, they fully deserved their win today…

  • OK, then retsub, could you (re?)brief me on your work there in the middle east?

  • Of course we are going to get a boost. Just sort out the midfield combination and we can go far. A handful of own goals by OG and Sanchez and we can even finish second. COYRRGs!

  • Theo will target Nacho and Mustafi, just as Ayew did yesterday… Personally, I’d like to see 3 at the back getting Kolasinac back into the fray. Won’t happen. Surely, the new attackers must play… Maybe?…

  • To be honest I only follow English football, so have never heard of Lucas Moura. But undoubtably Spurs are playing really well at the moment. But unlike City they don’t have strength in depth. Two or three key players getting injured, then see what happens

  • Sure thing, TA… A boost and a bunch of bounces, that’s what we need… How many points to make the top 4?… Like last season, we’re gonna need to (nearly) run the table, I fear…

    I’m with JW… Long term planning is where my hat will hang… And, we must hang together, or else, we will surely hang separately…as they say…

  • Long term is not very interesting right now, even though I don’t disagree with him and you. We need to pick up momentum and set up the team in such a way that we get some consistency in our defensive and attacking performances. It will be v interesting to see how Arsene will line up the team on Saturday; it may tell us all about the way will play for the rest of the season.

  • retsub, you have mail… 🙂

    TA, that’s what’s keeping me from writing (lately)… If folks can’t get behind the long-term plans then every match is a can’t win proposition. A good result just holds off the blame-game until the next bad one. Will the new guys get any slack if they don’t produce immediately? Maybe a hair more than the others (we’ve failed to replace…), soon enough they’re just more money that
    Wenger has wasted…

    It seems all poison to me… 😦

    Now Spurs… That’s a team I could get behind… Alas, they gave us housing in the N5…not up in Middlesex… 😉

  • Live in the here and now and have reasonable expectations. Fans will always react with disappointment and the ‘blame game’ when their team does not do well. That is as old as there has been team sport. If you were to expect and respect that more you would find it easier to write comments during those periods. 🙂

  • Anyway, good to see you commenting on here again and let’s hope for a fab performance against the Toffees on Saturday.

    Have a nice afternoon and evening. Good night to you all. 🙂

  • Soooo, reasonable expectations based on yesterday’s match… 😮

    To me (following JW, perhaps…) new signings and a greatly increased wage scheme built around a lovely (but much despised) player, is the really big news, IMO, and is a long term thing that is very exciting. Combining that stuff with Wenger Must Go, seems illogical at best… (At worst, for me… Well, let’s not go there…)

    As such, I’m not sure where I should go… Back into hiding seems the smartest but maybe some live-blogging as I agree about the here and now–and appreciate folks who actually watch the match with their own eyes–or enjoy my descriptions thereof… We’ll see… Saturday is my B-day… I’d hate to wreck it by caring about the football…

    Cheers for the advice, however…

  • Well, the window seems like it will “slam shut” in just a few moments with no further (Arsenal) action. At least we’ve tapped up a couple of defenders (and maybe a midfielder or two)… With the new wage structure, those fellas might be tempted to play a good 2nd half and try to give us a wink in the summer. I think JW is right, it could be a ripe moment. We’re now perhaps better positioned to pick out some who might impress at the WC… Still, that’s all long-term stuff, which still seems important (to me). Not much fun if you still hold tight to the idea the club is (woefully) mismanaged, however…

  • 17HT–
    Want to clear up one item. I do not feel the season is over.
    I would love to be pleasantly surprised. And yeah, that could happen.

    But I’m not going to wind myself up if the defense keep costing us.
    I like each of those guys as players– but there’s little chemistry/cohesiveness.
    At one time– possibly the best (certainly most underrated) CB in the PL?
    I fear we’ve seen the best of Koscielny.


  • But for Ashley Young, Sanchez was the worst player of the 22 starters by WhoScored rating.
    Shots = 0
    On target = 0
    Key passes = 0
    Aerials = 0
    Pass% = 79.6
    How I feel about it = Hahahaha!!

  • All

    My posts aren’t appearing? Too long a lurker? Anywho, … Easy calls here in my take:

    A. We now have a strong proven forward crowd, one of the best on paper

    B. The defense is off, though on paper they’re strong. Something missing, but IDKW exactly. Hunger? Pride? Focus? … IMO, recalling my first ever post here, 4 excellent defenders but at the moment, ZERO Presence!

    C. We got reasonable deals, prices or at least net on the payments and salaries, in part by clearing out what wasn’t working (all credit but … even to OG who’s very good but somehow it wasn’t to be fully realised here). Especially important, in attackers whose price is never falling, always crazy, and wildly variable.

    D. Which means defenders who can be “quite cheap” relatively may be found over summer.

    So, like JW, I’m optimistic at the moment and will see.

    Lineups, I think we will see variations based on team played, but with PEA and Lacazette up front with Özil just behind. Wider are Mkhitaryan with Ozil in the middle with AR and Kola “wider”, then our back 4… yup go big or go home with final scores like baseball (7-4 anyone?) 🙂

    Cheers from a very busy and hot down here — jgc

  • 17HT, Tuesday’s game was a weird one. The heads of the players were in a daze…. I am declining to read anything in it.

    Your appreciation of Wenger is very well documented in here. For some reason, you cannot appreciate that other passionate Gooners strongly feel that it is time for change/ that we can do better. But, as you also will have noticed, nobody on here is screaming at the club to get him out right now; there is a lot of respect for Arsene. A key part of the success of this blog is tolerance towards each other views, including our views on Wenger.

    I am not sure who has been key in all the negotiations – and I reckon Wenger still has a lot of pulling power whether he was involved or not – but they have done a brilliant job. The only worry I have is that after Laca and Auba we do not have a good attacker / Plan B right now. I guess that could mean that we will only use one of them at a time in most games, which could bring its own issues. Still feel sad we had to let(?) Ollie G go.

  • PE, MU were a shambles last night. Despite them playing with a proper DM their midfield was as porous as Edam Kaas. 🙂

    Football has become a lot more complicated these days…. the challenge is to get the midfield play right.

  • Hey JGC, so good to see you on here again. I don’t fully agree re C – I reckon our defenders have on-pitch presence but they have to work hard to compensate for their lack of ‘Sol-Campbell-physical-presence/ability’. I feel that as a team we do not play compact enough which leaves our defenders often very exposed.

  • “It is an issue of balance Mourinho will face again given the quality in his squad. Some will suggest this is a problem of basic method, that Mourinho does not really like elite attacking players, that he prefers fit, strong intelligent players who occupy the fixed points within his carefully stitched design. Faced with all this power and possibility he is playing someone else’s game, dragged out of his zone of excellence; forced, awkwardly, to dance. On the evidence of Wembley watching him find a solution will be fascinating.”

    This article highlights the lack of balance in MU’s play against the Spuds. A lot of managers are struggling to get it right, including our own Arsene Wenger (sorry 17HT).


  • Nice to read from 17HT, after his “hiatus”. Hope you have a good birthday celebration and the Arsenal are able to put an icing to that cake with a good win vs Big Sam’s boys.

    It is a significant move by the club to place Ozil on top wages because it means we no longer operate under the self-imposed cap, which does make us more attractive, if we weren’t already so. It was the understanding at the club that no player will earn more than the manager (or that Wenger had it in his contract he will be the highest earner on the football side; not implausible). I am not sure how true that is, but if it is so, this move is a major shift in posture. One can only hope it bodes well for the club in the short and long term.

    I was not sure what result I would have preferred for the Spurs v United game, but it was nice to see the expression on Mourinho’s face when his team were being outplayed, despite the sum total in value of the players he had on show. While, on one hand, I wanted Spurs to drop points so they don’t get too far ahead of us, nothing beats the feeling of seeing JM and that lot, beaten.

  • As for our defenders, we do have presence and good men. The problem is the defend-ing (the art, itself) and how the team is drilled to do this collectively.

    The way I see it, the defensive half of the team is in a rut of some sort; they need to believe again that they can get clean sheets, just on their ability. At the moment, whenever we are under any sort of attack, we look like conceding with the fans and players holding their collective breaths in anticipation (or a huge, collective sigh, if we survive). That is mental, then. I assure you, if we get one clean sheet, we will see a change in subsequent games. The first clean sheet (after al, these errors) will put the defenders in RE-set mode, but it will affect goal scoring for a few games….

  • The replacement of the Manager at this juncture is not realistic. The posing of it as a mental exercise is well and good– but. Just who is the next one? Specifically. I do not see a fit anywhere at present. It’s not about (IMHO) whoever is ‘the best available’ at present. It’s about getting the right Manager to continue what’s being re-built. Who is it?

    In my own long-term scheme (which isn’t as long-term as it was just a month ago)– I saw the rebuild of the club taking until the end of Wenger’s current contract– and possibly another year longer. There is an aspect that cannot be shortened by buying. It is the creation of a youth academy pipeline which will turn out either first-teamers– or prospects so highly rated that selling them on will fund the purchases of players in the transfer market. Arsenal are still refining the data-driven, video-based analytics that will make identifying those prospects– at a younger age– and at the success rate required– to fuel this pipeline.

    The rebuild is still in the oven.


  • See where Mourinho started Sanchez at LW vs Spurs– but moved him to No 10 in the second half– and was critical of how he played that role. Oh. And something-something about Pogba wanting the same salary as Alexis now.

    I’m gonna’ to need some popcorn.
    This drama is going to be good viewing.


  • JW, replacement of Wenger is indeed not realistic as the BOD will not do this at least till the Summer. It is of course utterly feasible, the likes of Rodgers, Pelligrini (ex Citeh), Low (my favourite), Ancelotti could all do a great job at Arsenal, and there are a few less experienced ones who could do a great job too.

    The majority of supporters would like to see a change.

  • TA

    Not to challenge you, more as a genuine question. Why do you think Low would make a good Arsenal manager? The demands of club management are surely very different from those put on a national team manager, which is where Low has been now for 14(?) years as assistant and boss. And as far as national team jobs go, being in charge of the German national team is not likely to be the most demanding in the sense that they have a great talent pool.

    I’ve long liked Ancelotti and Pellegrini as potential Wenger successors, but I’m not sure Ancelotti is going to be an improvement on Wenger in the areas we are weak. (And how does Ozil feel about him?) Where is Pellegrini now? Rodgers, a few years ago I would have laughed at, but his stint at Liverpool is seeming better in context of time, and he’s done a good job at Celtic. Still, I really don’t think he’s got the makings of an Arsenal manager.

  • TA–
    Agreed that Summer might be the earliest. And after January’s retooling am not ruling out much.

    For me? Joachim Low is the only one from your group– who could be ‘grafted’ onto the club without ensuing friction, slowing momentum. But I’ve suspicions Real is lurking. Though Rodgers is intriguing– and wasn’t in my periphery. I have respect for both Ancelotti and Pelligrini– but not so sure that they’d be wholly accepting of ‘the project’ not being of their own making.


  • Ancelotti would be one for 2-4 years; one to move us to the next stage and then be replaced by a more long term, typical Arsenal prospect (maybe Per Mertesacker). Pelligrini I rate v highly, both as a technical/tactical coach and as a human being – even though he looks like Count Dracula 👿

  • Shard, I reckon Ancelotti would sort out the defensive side of the team quite quickly and then the quality of the attackers and midfielders would shine through as well.

    Low is an energetic, charismatic and intelligent manager who can work with the very best and second best players. He is one who understands how to play an attacking system of football that is also strong defensively – a bit like Guardiola. He knows the German market very, very well and would strengthen the team, especially in defence, in no time. I am not sure why being an international manager would make him a risk for club football. To me he seems the type that will relish such an opportunity and I totally expect him to make a change after this year’s WC.

    My point is there are options out there other than the obvious ones (now at MC, Chelsea and TH).

  • TA

    I think there’s going to be an adjustment between being able to choose from a large pool of players and try out various formations and combinations during a ‘season’, all in the build up to a intense one month tournament, and club football where you have a set squad, and have to deliver results all throughout the season to be crowned champions at the end.

    I don’t know whether Low will be a risk or not in that sense, but I do think it will take an adjustment.

    Him knowing the German market well would be a huge plus though, and we seem to be instilling a German core at the club. So who knows?

    Personally, I think Wenger is going to stay till the end of his contract.

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