Summer Signings. Balotelli, Lukaku or Costa?

Let’s take an early review of our summer business in 2014. How are Mr Wenger’s new boys faring?   They are rated like this: Balotelli – a poor signing, Lukaku – an OK signing but could do better, and Costa- a great addition to the team

1. Ospina: I am undecided. His goals against and shots saved stats are impressive and he is top of the PL for average goals conceded in games played but there is something missing. He just doesn’t inspire confidence. I like a keeper who dominates his box, controls his defence and is vocal – Ospina seems too “nice”. Szczesny is a loony – and as we all know the best keepers are nuts (Schmeichel/Seaman/Shilton/Kahn.)

BR’s Rating: Lukaku

2. Debuchy. We can only go on his contribution to this season’s campaign and thanks to injury it is minimal. On his rare appearances he seems all we we would wish for – pacy, a good crosser, good in the air and a fine tackler but 10 appearances is not good value.

BR Rating: Balotelli 

3. Chambers: The lad has had a strange season insomuch as he has been seen as a brilliant signing in his first few games and done less well of late. He is clearly a fine prospect as told by his considerable signing-on fee . I think he will become an Arsenal stalwart but right now he needs to find a settled position. As I wrote yesterday, Bellerin’s progress has not helped his season.

BR Rating: Lukaku

4. Alexis Sanchez. What a start to his AFC career the little fellow has had. Goals, excitement, energy, skill, entertainment, desire, determination, strength, speed, joy – he brings it all. It has to be said that he looks tired of late but nonetheless he is a marvellous addition to the team and at €32m was cheap

BR Rating: Costa.

5. Welbeck. Danny has yet to establish himself in the team. With a fully fit squad he is unlikely to start but we never have a fully fit squad so his input is important. To start with, he is fine value at €16m. Welbz brings enthusiasm, pace and hard work, what he doesn’t bring is a proper goal threat. To be a top striker goals are an essential and his finishing needs much work – 4 PL goals is not enough. That said, his overall contribution is considerable.

BR Rating: Lukaku

written by Big Raddy (inspiration from RC78)

77 Responses to Summer Signings. Balotelli, Lukaku or Costa?

  1. RA says:


    Ummm? 🙂

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s Ommm RA 🙂

  3. mickydidit89 says:


    Thank you for stepping up. More world record hits? 🙂

    I think that if Ollie had stayed injured all season, we’d be looking at a very different Danny Welbeck, and although I agree with your Lukaku rating, I believe with time and games in the middle, he’d become a Costa.

    I’d leave if I were him, as long as a new club promised to play him through the middle.

  4. PV4 says:

    Lukaku looks overweight and disinterested to me. When he was on loan he had something to prove. Or…is it the curse of cutting off his dreads? Remember Adebayor – ruthless tiger with dreads and limp without. Now look at Lukaku…!

    Am with you on the Ospina thing, he looks good, safe but not commanding and scary.

  5. Mike says:

    Tough on Debuchy. A definite Lukaku for me…if just because we are well set at RB for the future.

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Mike agree

    A Balotelli for Debbie was very harsh.

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    I also don’t like the Costa Award. A “Sanchez” for Sanchez sounds about right

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. It is just a fun rating system – hits mean nothing as we have no advertising. (as you well know)

    I maintain that 10 games out of 50+ is a poor return from Debuchy. I am sure he will become a success when he can get a run of games but he could be another JW/Diaby/Theo

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Fair point Raddy

    Flog The Weak. JW/Diaby/Theo and throw in Debbs. Pack yer bags, I say.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Is it hits or number of comments that earn the loot through advertising.
    If the former, then give me a ring. I’ve had an idea 🙂

  11. RA says:

    Raddy’s Post is really clever, but forgive me if I reduce the dialogue to a Friday nadir on AA — but what’s new – and can safely be ignored? 🙂

    Of all the famous bloggers on AA, what would be their ratings on the following scale?

    Gorgonzola = Big Cheese Author = 1
    Lemon = Fun = 1
    Cherry = Interesting = 2
    Grape = Windy = 2
    Banana = crackers = 1
    Goosegog = Vid-King = 1
    Pomegranate = Seriously out of it = 1

    Micky is definitely a lemon.
    Terry is a banana.
    Raddy must be a Cherry – lost long ago – and a lemon.
    Rocky Shores just has to be the gorgonzola.
    Chas is a run away goosegog-lemon.
    GoonerB is without doubt a grape-banana-cherry.
    Cockle-Doodle owns the pomegranate award, but is also a lemon.
    Norfolk-All-Of-You, is a banana-cherry.

    I think I have offended enough of you for now – so feel free to extend the rating schedule, and let rip. 🙂

  12. RA says:

    Too late, Mickey.

    It’s tits! 🙂

  13. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You missed out Steve who is doing a sterling job. And Rasp, GN5, Peaches, Sir A, RC78( and yourself) +++

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    🙂 RA

    Rushing to stop work. Had enough of this week.

  15. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, your working well Raddy 🙂
    A post like this is good, I like to see peoples opinions of our new player’s.

    Wenger of course usually leaves it late in any window, so we usually have no idea who he is looking at unless of course it was Suarez, now Wenger wanted him, and he knew he was a good target, here we have a canabal who is also a racist worse than that he was a diver a cheat and an actor. Now that is someone to make sure never darkens the door, but Wenger made it perfectly clear that he was after him early in the window.

    Wenger knocked me sideways when i heard his bid £40 million and a pound bugger me this is a wind up i thought some old Spud Journo stirring the shit, but after reading the story many times i realised that the Frenchman had set his sights on one of the best strikers that was in the country.

    Of course like normal our bid was turned down not quietly but as loud as Brenda could make it. £40 million and a pound what a derisory inept offer that was according to Brenda. Here we have a model proffesional who has only bitten a couple of players he was said to have called a dark skinned man by a derogatory term because he kicked him all over the place but on the whole a fine specimen of a footballer and worth much more than that.

    Of course cutting a long story short we didn’t get him, but we did get Ozil very late in the window not so much a striker but he was more expensive so he must be good fans went apeshit untill we saw him play, Jury still out on him.

    Danny we brought cause he just came along, Sanchez because we never got Suarez, he comes from somewhere near apparently but what a surprise the guy can play a bit, he runs all game he chases down people who are bigger than him and so far he wont go down injured. we have hit paydirt well done Arsene.

    Debuch looked good for a couple of games i didn’t at first feel he was an upgrade on Sagna but time will tell i thought then he got talking to Diaby when Diaby was being stretchered to the canteen and after that he was injured Nuff said.

    Getting back to nice guy Danny, why did United not keep him, mainly because he didn’t score goals nice guy got a luvely smile and likes to jog and wave at the crowd, his still young and what’s 16 mill to a club like Arsenal.

    Ospina, well well well Ospina this guys record is better than i ever expected i dont believe i have seen him catch a ball without juggling he seems small to me but still seems to be doing ok, Fabianski went the guy we called Flappy and we get a juggler big improvement.

    We offload Gooner Jenks and buy a young guy from Southampton, some thing about Southampton that Wenger likes perhaps a bird there at some time who knows but a few have come from there and like a bit of sick i can tell you, But Chambers has had a few aches and a few knocks but took advice and stayed away from Diaby he is not doing too bad but i fear his few games playing may be burning him out keep your eye out for flagging.

    Yes Raddy another fine post son. and it is Friday moan 🙂

  16. RA says:

    That’s right, Raddy, push me into losing more AA friends!! 🙂

  17. hello AA’ers. In a moment of internet clarity I have a connection. Poor Raddish……… keeping the blog going. O have read some stuff but unable to comment. I hate you bastards who have a good expensive internet connection. I will probably lose my wireless after posting this comment… uick uick… my cue on my keyboard has stopped working as well. Fuck I’m in a bad way 🙂

  18. RA says:

    Give it a sip of your best wine, NB — that’ll fix it. 🙂

  19. RC78 says:

    Ospina – Lukaku
    Debs – Lukaku
    Chambers – Lukaku
    Sanchez – Costa
    Wellbeck – Lukaku

    Overall – decent business and feel a bit cheated with Debs because he could not play much and with Wellbeck because he is not scoring enough…otherwise, we are “ok” and Sanchez is a STAR!

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Well done Raddy for yet another post.

    I agree entirely with RC78.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    Okay here’s a bit of Arsenal trivia.

    Only one player appeared in every game in one year of our PL Championship teams – who was it?

  22. chas says:

    Well done, BR.

    Love the rating system.
    I think they’ve all been great additions to the squad (rather than the team), so all ‘Costa’s for me.

    It got me thinking about Arsenal players to use for a similar system

    GK Almunia Rimmer Seaman
    DF Caesar Ure Adams
    MF Selley Talbot Brady
    ST Chapman Mariner Wright

  23. stevepalmer1 says:


  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Praising managers for rallies in the second half of the season seems to be in vogue at the moment. Louis van Gaal is getting credit for belatedly stumbling upon a formula for success at Manchester United. Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers has been widely eulogized for revitalizing Liverpool’s season, with some pundits even venturing to suggest this season represents a greater success than his title charge of last year. Amid the tributes, one man has been relatively free of praise.

    However, it’s time Arsene Wenger got some recognition for saving Arsenal’s season once again.

    Back in December, the legendary Arsenal boss appeared to be on the precipice of an acrimonious end. A 3-2 defeat at Stoke enraged supporters, and ugly scenes saw him barracked by his own fans as the team made their way back to London.

    Since that day, Arsenal have played 22 games. They have won 18 of those matches. That is a record that demonstrates remarkable consistency. Consistency is the hallmark of the second half of Wenger’s Arsenal tenure. In fact, he’s become so reliable that we’re often guilty of taking his achievements for granted. Even after that notable nadir against Stoke, Arsenal’s rise in to the Champions League places felt inevitable.

    That shouldn’t be allowed to detract too much from the achievement itself. There are those who will say Arsenal’s struggles in the early part of the campaign were the fault of Wenger himself — that he ought to have bulked out the squad with an extra defender and holding midfielder in the summer of 2014.

    That’s a valid point, but by the same token, you could criticize Rodgers for signing Mario Balotelli or lambaste Van Gaal for failing to recruit another senior centre-half. It does not take away from the manner in which they’ve managed with their squad over the course of the season.

    Much like those managers, Wenger has shown the flexibility to reshuffle his pack in the search for a winning lineup. At the back, he’s dropped his first-choice goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, in favour of a Premier League rookie in the shape of David Ospina. He’s promoted teenage defender Hector Bellerin and helped Nacho Monreal develop into a rugged and reliable full-back.
    Arsene Wenger’s team suffered a poor 3-2 loss against Stoke in December.

    Wenger has also dramatically reshaped his midfield, deploying Santi Cazorla in a deep-lying midfield role that saw the Spaniard named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month in both December and January. He’s reintegrated Mesut Ozil to impressive effect, supplementing him with hard-working wingers in Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The reconfigured attack has enormously benefited Olivier Giroud, who is in the midst of the most prolific run of his career.

    He’s also shown creativity to plug the gaps in his squad. Wenger may have initially turned to Francis Coquelin out of desperation, but he still recognized his fellow Frenchman’s potential and entrusted him with the responsibility as a regular starter. When the January transfer window opened, he managed to uncover a new centre-back at a time when many of the world’s top clubs tried and failed to identify recruits in that role. Thus far, the athletic and aggressive Gabriel Paulista looks to have been an astute acquisition.

    This re imagined Arsenal side have picked up wins away to both Manchester clubs since Christmas. What’s more, they’re in with a chance of finishing in second place and are overwhelming favourites to reach the FA Cup final. If you narrow the context to 2015, the home leg against Monaco looks increasingly like an anomalous aberration. Wenger has dragged Arsenal out of the mire and toward another creditable conclusion. Had he resigned after the Stoke defeat and a new man achieved these same results, he’d be heralded as a managerial genius. The only explanation for the lack of media fuss over Wenger is that we’ve grown sadly accustomed to his unrivaled powers of recovery.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Good guess Steve but I’m not sure if Diaby has played 38 games in his Arsenal career.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Surprise, surprise he’s appeared in 179 games.

  27. RC78 says:

    Now – let me be cheeky…

    1. Would you have sold Ozil to Bayern to bring Fab back in the summer?
    2. And has Wellbeck improved since he joined us?…

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    1. No
    2. Yes

  29. chas says:

    1. No
    2. Yes

  30. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I hope you will not object if I take out your fine comment to use for tomorrow’s post

    Tough if you do 😀

  31. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening GN5, that comment warranted being called a post mate, you have hit the nail on the head mate.

    Wenger i have to say can be a frustrating bugger but his achievement’s, as you say are legendary.

    Arsenal supporters take it for granted as you say, but i like to think that they know exactly what having him here has done for us.

    Many people chuck about words like legends and Genius about someone that has made a good move, but surprisingly those same supporters have difficulty in praise for Wenger.

    If i speak the truth, i don’t care whether the papers or media comment on him, as his record speaks for its self.

    Ray Parlor

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy/Steve – It was not an original comment – it was copied from

  33. stevepalmer1 says:

    Doesn’t matter who wrote it , shame it wasn’t you GN5 had your handwriting all over it , but true anyway, might have to go back to a comment 🙂

  34. RockyLives says:

    Really good read BR.

    What about Gabriel? So far I’d say Lukaku with Costa tendencies 😀

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    Why does Carrick only have 31 caps at nearly 34 years of age?

    Surely we weren’t using the likes of Scott Parker and Gareth Barry instead of him!?

  36. fatgingergooner says:


    Must be a GK so I go for crazy Jens!

  37. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Damn. I had better not use it

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    FGG, You are correct sir.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy – James McNicholas was the writer.

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    Do I have to hear about Harry Kane all night!?

    You’d think he was Messi the way they are going on. Did nobody learn from Ross Barkley, Andros Townsend and Jack Wilshere, the last 3 England saviours!

  41. chas says:

    Danny Welbeck man of the match – not improved since he’s been at The Arse? – hmmmmmmmmmm.

  42. chas says:

    Fact of the night…………..
    Harry Kane only 48 behind Sir Booby Charlton.

  43. stevepalmer1 says:

    Wolfie scores in80 seconds of coming on, we can train an England man

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    They might aswell knight him now!

  45. stevepalmer1 says:

    Theo’s beard looked cool. What the hell is that.

  46. stevepalmer1 says:

    One in Nuts, if we don’t have anything

  47. Gööner In Exile says:

    RC like many others no and yes.

    FGGre Carrick I think you have forgotten that for the majority of the time he has been behind StevieMe and FatFrank, and he has suffered injuries too.

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    One in the loading bay

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    My head hurts if that helps

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Clearly, it doesn’t help 🙂

    Will be back if threatened rain/storm materialises

  51. RA says:

    Micky, before diving into the sea, you have to wait for the tide to come in first. Doh. 🙂

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    One can only admire Micky’s devotion to boarding.

    Welbz. I only said he hadn’t improved to be contrary. MotM last night – was it deserved?

  53. RA says:

    Good Morning, Raddy, 🙂

    I think that Welly has the potential to become a great – but what he lacks at the moment is the killer instinct. Too nice, maybe?

    Thoroughly deserved his man of the match, except Kane does have the advantage of being able to walk on water apparently.

  54. chas says:

    I thought you might have been playing DeVille’s, BR. 🙂

    Danny looks more comfortable on the ball and contributes to all aspects of team play since he became a Gunner.
    (mind you we were playing the blind school last night 🙂 )

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Thanks for the vid – I couldn’t be bothered to watch the game as there was an episode of Danish Librarians Undercover where they go into peoples houses and discuss their book shelves – not the books, just the shelving.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Bonfire off or rather out 😦

    Soooo… RA, you’re very close on need for water 🙂

    Danny is the new Henry, and Ox the new Messi. Obvious.

    “Danish Librarians Undercover” sounds like a smut film to me.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha Chas
    Looks like my “assistant” from last weeks’ ugly sister

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    shit!!! that was bad timing 🙂

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    There, an apostrophe, but is it in the right place? 🙂

  60. chas says:

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Well which is it, red or grey squirrel. In other words, can we shoot it and eat it or not?

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    I think you’re right GiE, although they couldn’t play together so maybe Carrick should’ve been used a lot more. If we’d have changed earlier from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 then Carrick would have a lot more caps, I imagine.

    Harry Kane has the same England record as David Nugent and Francis Jeffers.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Do you know anyone who has eaten a squirrel?

    Who is 09.27?

  64. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Say it ain’t so!

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    In the theme of a headline for hits……new post people

  66. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, sorry I have been AWOL for the last few fine posts from Steve and a Raddy brace. I have read them all and fine they are. I should have more time later today so do intend to give a collective comment on the points brought up in those (stop right there you lot, I can see you all scarpering with a “better give this afternoon a miss if GB is commenting”).

    Raddy are you putting up GN5’s great earlier comment for a post? If so I will wait until this one is up.

    RA, your 11.11 yesterday was very imaginative and brought out a slight chuckle in me until I realised you had put me up as the site schizophrenic. 3 personalities Redders???…actually come to think of it I could argue a 4th one. Yep definitely a schizo old GoonerB.

  67. you dont want ballotelli

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