We are at approaching the time of year when the Deadwood express drives at Arsenal station to pick up a few passengers. Early at the station were Flamini, Rosicky and Arteta but who else will be shipped out?
Today I will focus upon the midfield.
Given that we have signed Elneny and also (potentially) Granit Xhaka, some midfield players must be going. Ramsey, Wilshere, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ox, Ozil, Iwobi, Gnabry, plus the returning Toral is perhaps excessive and it is in midfield that we find the biggest puzzle……. What is going on with Coquelin?
Early in the season Coquelin would have been the first name on the team sheet, it was inconceivable that he wouldn’t start. It has to be said that I am not a big fan but reluctantly started to appreciate just how much he had improved, yet Francis is firmly on the naughty step as evidenced by the arrival (?) of Xhaka – you don’t spend €30m on a reserve.
The final unbeaten run of games saw Francis on the bench with AW not picking a sitting DM preferring to play Elneny alongside Ramsey as a double pivot (™️ TA). I doubt anyone could have predicted Coquelin being dropped.
If we assume that Xhaka is signed and that Elneny has impressed Mr Wenger tough to be considered a sin the starting X1, then a first team place is unlikely for Coquelin and he will become a squad player. Too good to sell? Probably and we will need him in case of injury/rotation.
That leaves 4 excellent players fighting for the single forward midfield role: Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla and Ox. All deserve to be starting PL players. All are committed to Arsenal but I expect one to be sold, the difficulty is who?
I really love watching them all. Ramsey is exceptional as his work for Wales displays. But … but. Other Gooners are not so impressed. It was not a great season for Aaron. Less goals, less assists, more mistakes; nonetheless he remains a seemingly integral part of Mr.Wenger’s plans.
Cazorla? Brilliant player. Upon his return at season’s end we improved and once again looked like potential title winners. Had he stayed fit we would have won the title – maybe – but he is over 30, somewhat injury-prone and slowing down. Arsenal need his experience – I doubt he willl be sold.
Ox. Horrible season for him. Injuries destroyed what should have been his breakthrough season. Nonetheless, he has huge potential and most of his on-pitch problems are due to his determination to be better. He needs to relax. But can he do so at Arsenal?
Jack. Another who had his season ruined by injury and who separates fans. IMO he cannot be allowed to leave. His energy, vision and eye for goal is exceptional but his injury history is such that we cannot rely upon JW to play 40+ games.
Can Arsenal afford to keep 11 midfield players? Can Mr Wenger keep them happy? More to the point – does he want to?
I would not be surprised to see Mr Wenger selling a big name player to finance his summer purchases. Man Utd were in the hunt to sign Aaron Ramsey prior to his making the obvious decision to join AFC; they are desperate for a Carrick replacement and Aaron is a similar player (but better). A goal-scoring midfielder with International experience and a mate of Monkeyboy (who must be a MU target) – he fits MU’s and Mourinho’s requirements exactly. Could/would AW sell him to MU?
written by BR
I think the Xhaka arrival provides options in the midfield.. at home against lower defensive sides he can pair Xhaka and Cazorla.. away from home in Europe against Bayern or Barca he can play Coquelin and Xhaka/Elneny.. and one of the group will get injured anyway.. Wilshere and Ozil can occupy the ten role.. and I would sell Ramsey to the highest bidder! Just a personal preference..
It’s official. Arsenal agree deal with Granit Xhaka.
” I’m very proud to be joining Arsenal. I cannot wait to move to London, represent this special club and play in the Premier League. I will give everything to help Arsenal win trophies and make the fans happy. ”
– Granit Xhaka
On the same day, the club announced the renewal of their partnership with Markets.com.
Ron Hoffman, CEO of Markets.com, commented on the latest partnership extension: “Our collaboration with Arsenal has proven to be a winning formula. Partnering with this globally recognised football club is as effortless as it gets, largely due to our shared ambition to reach new heights in our respective fields. We are extremely confident that the continued alliance with Arsenal will bolster the brand recognition of Markets.com, leading to a significant growth in our global customer base. These are exciting times for all of us.”
Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are delighted to be extending our successful partnership with Markets.com. They have produced some extremely creative marketing campaigns to engage Arsenal supporters. We look forward to working closely with them to continue to build on this in the coming years, and further strengthening our excellent working relationship.”
So Arsenal sign Granit Xhaka, well, I never saw that one coming, who would have guessed?
Thanks for the read BR, it made me think although having thought about it I don’t think that any of the names you mentioned will leave.
Great read Erik, thank you.
This is right up my street, and I cannot wait to get on here later this afternoon.
In short, we certainly cannot keep them all happy, while much of this decision will tie in with Arsene’s transfer plans.
If, as I hope and expect, him to buy attackers, then something will have to give.
I think Aaron may well be a good fund raiser. I’ve always seen him as a 4-4-2 man, and therefore never a perfect fit anywhere in our set up.
Fabulous news about Granit
LB. Neither do I but if I were MU Ramsey would be at the top of my Wants list.
Full list of the club’s sponsors and partners:
Emirates (shirt sponsor and stadium) – Dubai (U.A.E.) based airline
PUMA (kit partner and technical sponsor) – Herzogenaurach (Germany), clothing and consumer goods manufacturer
Citroën – Saint-Ouen (France), automotive
Cooper Tire Europe – Melksham (UK), manufacturing
Europcar – (HQ @Voisins-le-Bretonneux, France), car rental
Gatorade – (USA) sports-themed beverage and food products
Huawei – Shenzhen, Guangdong (China), information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider
Indesit – Fabriano (Italy), home appliances
JEANRICHARD – La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland, Sowind Group), watchmaking
Markets.com – Douglas (Isle of Man, Playtech plc), Forex and CFD trading providers
Vitality – London, (UK), health insurance
Bank Muamalat – Jakarta, (Indonesia), public banking
Betfair – London, (UK), online gambling, betting exchange and bookmaker
Bodog – (Antigua), Intellectual Property Licensing
BT Sport – London (UK), broadcasting
Capital Bank Kazakhstan – (Kazakhstan), banking
Dashen Brewery – (Ethiopia), official beer partner
Destination NSW – New South Wales (Australia), tourism and major events agency
DJI Holdings – Cheshire (UK), official lottery partner in China
DraftKings – Boston, Massachusetts (USA), official daily fantasy sports partner
Hansa Pilsener – (South Africa), official beer partner
Imperial Bank – Nairobi (Kenya), financial services
India on Track – New Delhi (India), soccer/football schools in India, football grassroots development programmes
Indosat – Central Jakarta, Jakarta, (Indonesia), telecommunication network and services providers
iRENA – (China) official soccer schools partner in China
MBNA – (USA, Bank of America), banking and credit card issuer
Paddy Power – Dublin, (Ireland), official betting partner in the UK, Ireland and Italy
SportPesa – (Kenya), official betting partner in Kenya.
Sterling Bank – Lagos, (Nigeria), banking
More or less, with the exception of South and “maybe” Central America, commercial partnerships around the globe. More to be improved on, of course.
Man. United, now with the “Chief Red Devil incarnated” at the helm, will go for midfield bruisers and look at clients from his agency, Gestifute.
I’d say their list (basically Jose Mourinho’s list) would include:
William Carvalho(Sporting), James Rodríguez(Real), André Gomes(Valencia), Rúben Neves(Porto), Pepe(Real), Bernardo Silva(Monaco), Ezequiel Garay(Zenit) among others.
However, Man. City under Pep Guardiola might look at some of our technical midfielders (Ramsey, Wilshere, The Ox etc.) and make enquiries. They also need to fulfil that little criteria in the HG status for registration in PL and CL at the same time.
Great stuff, thank you Raddy
I agree we have a surplus of central midfielders and a deficit of wingers. Although Ramsey is a great player, his strengths just don’t seem to shine in our current set up – so I’m with you, if we had to lose one then Ramsey would be my choice
It’s a tough one.
On the one hand santi maybe makes the most sense to sell as he probably only has a year or two left. On the other hand he’s been the only one who’s been consistently great so selling him would be madness.
Ramsey, Wilshere and Ox can all be great players, they all have lots of potential, and they all have been sorta disappointing recently in their own ways. On the one hand there are good reasons for selling any one of them. On the other hand, based on what they’ve shown they’re capable of, selling any of them could be a terrible terrible mistake.
Those three are all obviously really talented players, but the concern seems to be that they are not playing to their full potential consistently enough to justify (in the cases of Ramsey and Wilshere especially) a place in the first team. And both of those players seem fairly set on being first team regulars.
Usually when Arsene chooses to sell a player I’m fairly confident it won’t come back to bite us, but even though I’m not the hugest fan of either of them, I’m not terribly confident selling either of them would be the right choice.
LB’s probably right though. If they don’t agitate for a move I’d be surprised if Arsene sold any of them this year.
A fine post BR.
Injuries have been a major problem for us for over a decade now and I believe they have been the main contributing factor in our failure to be even more successful.
But in my opinion it’s the post injury recovery and return to playing that causes more negative issues than the injury itself. I can talk, from sad personal experience, and say that once you have suffered an injury that involves a break, a knee or an ankle you never return to the same level as you were before the injury.
Our team is full of prime examples, Walcott, Ox, Ramsey, Alexis, Coquelin, Wilshere, Welbeck – in our current squad.
Once you have had a major injury you retain a mental picture of the occurrence and the pain it caused and try desperately to avoid that recurring – this makes you far more tentative than previous and you tend to lose the vital edge you once had.
We can find examples of this in most teams.
GN5. It didn’t stop Bert Trautmann 😀
Injury prones’ gotta go!
That means Jack and Ox should be sold- both are defensive liabilities. Ox has potential but can’t score worth a damn, even though his direct runs are impressive but first touch is horried. Jack will never get a run of games.
On Ramsey, for all his running and quasi creating, is valuable and can command a high price if sold.
Santi is the great passer, but also a liability on D, but can help get the ball out when teams press us. Slowing down and will need some rest between games if Arsene wants to keep him injury free. Last year was a fluke.
Coq has been injured but I feel he is not injury prone, just a hunch. Can pass better than people think, and can read the game well. Need to keep him to rotate.
Forwards, a conversation for another day, but hint, hint, sell Walcott for English premium.
Right BR but only because he stuck his neck out 🙂 🙂 🙂
Aaron. If we sold all our injury prone players we wouldn’t have 11 players!
Ramsey has more heart and tries harder than anyone else game in game out – Sell Ox and/or Jack – Maybe even Cazorla given his age over Ramsey.
Superb, BR, the title hooked quite a few fishes judging by the stats.
Not that AA is after a bulging keep net for any reason other for its health. 🙂
When Le Coq and Santi were injured, everyone said, ‘why didn’t we buy more outfield players in the window’ (yes, I realise a non-French striker was the main item on the shopping list).
Now that we have bought two perfect replacements/rotating-whatnots for Le Coq and Santi, everyone wants to send a couple to the glue factory.
Surely we’ve learnt by now that we need a large stockpile of talent to cope with injuries, loss of form and fighting on 4 fronts?
After all, Matty Flamini made 16, yes 16, Premier League appearances in the 2015/6 season.
Can you give us a run down of the squad situation regarding home-grown etc when you have a moment at midnight? Ta.
Oh yeah, I forgot to say, I’m not sure the Ox is a midfielder. 🙂
I have thought some more. Here’s the result.
Does Aaron mind not being an automatic 1st XI’er? If not, then keep.
Love this response from Erik earlier:” If we sold all our injury prone players we wouldn’t have 11 players!”
The Wise One speaketh much truth 🙂
The new strip at 5:38
Every season I look at the new home strip and it always shouts a final league position at me.
This one screams “Champions by a mile”. This is great news.
Shit a brick. Check out these babies.
Lucky he didn’t hit the bleeding goalie with No1. Dead is what he’d have been. Very.
Cheers BR, for the fine thought-provoking post and the double DM pivot trademarking hahaha 🙂
I am very excited about the Xhaka signing. Second most passer in the Bundesliga (behind Alonso) and on average seven long balls per game. He gets the ball and then moves it forward in a flesh, just like El Super Neni does. The latter tends to play shorter balls and Granit the Gunner loves to do long balls…. the perfect duo. They are both athletes with big engines, read the game very well and masters at passing…. the future for Arsene/Arsenal for sure.
I reckon rather sooner than later they will be form the double midfield pivot, protecting the defence without reverting to tackling all the time, and support the attack with their passes, runs, blocks and turnovers, and arriving in the box when it matters most. Le Coq and Rambo will have to fight with them for these two places, and yes I would not be surprised if Rambo moves on this summer or next one.
In front of the Elneny-Xhaka axis, we can play three of Jack, Mesut, Alexis, Rambo, Campbell, Santi and Iwobi (and possibly Ox, but that does not get me excited at all). Above these we can play either Ollie as our holding CF or Alexis/Danny as our more mobile (but less of a central hub) option. Wenger may even give Theo another chance (but this does not get me excited either 😉 ). With Danny out and Theo a big question mark, I am now hoping to see some more fire power added, but who doesn’t hehehehe 😀
a sweet left foot, Micky, just what we were missing 😉
Yep, the new Alonso-type DM has been signed by Arsenal, so what does Micky do?
Google his goals. 😆
Oh and Micky, regarding posting of photos from your computer from this morning.
They have to be on the internet somewhere for you to paste the link and display them on here.
If the link says C: at the start it ain’t gonna work.
Either Twitter (which was the reason you joined 3 years ago) or some other online storage jobbie like Photobucket will do the trick.
I’ll get a bucket. Me and Twitter fell out in rather spectacular fashion. Messy is what it got.
Top stuff Raddy
Don’t think Arsene will flog any players? I can’t stand salesmen. The ability to be insulted yet continue to claim you buy life insurance means your either a serial killer or a fruit eating native of the Pitcain Islands.
If only Fred West had eaten more fruit? Instead of mass murder he would now be into Yogi Flying.
This Granit bloke reminds me of Petit. Strong left footed midfielder with a porno name. Granite Shaka? Hope Rooney doesn’t get confused?
It’s up to Ramsey/Wilshere/Chamberlin etc to step up there game.Nothing wrong with a bit of competion.
When Alexander The Great was on his death bed all the wannabes gathered round to ask who he nominated as Succesor. He answered “To the strongest”
Okay, that started divisions which led to the fall of the empire and rise of Demis Rousous, but you know what I mean.
8.23 😀 😀
Imagine typing ‘should of’ and thinking it was correct.
According to France Football, German giants Bayern Munich approached Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny several months ago before ultimately opting to sign Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund.
He still has three years on his contract remaining and is widely expected to be named as club captain for next season.
Early start for us workers 😀
Springer spaniels are so stupid
chas. What is 5.39?
No idea really, BR. 🙂
Thought Micky might like it with it having a wave type theme.
I’ve been working on my abs. 🙂
I wonder if the story about Koscielny is true. If so, did he refuse to go or Arsenal refuse to sell?
Extremely eclectic this morning, Chas. You is in good form. 😃🐳
I know the early bird gets cracking soon after sun rise, but this is nuts
Morning anyone who hasn’t flown the nest
Wow, in less than three weeks, it starts get dark earlier and earlier
May hasn’t finished yet and Arsene has splashed the cash like no tomorrow….. Eddie must be clicking her heels at the moment hahaha 😍
Moring Micky…. Just seven months from now it’s Boxing Day! 😂
Your little whale reminded me of this fella
Hahaha Micky, great guy… Could be Cockie Monster! 🙃
Loved this, even though it’s a cliché:
“I’ve learned to stick at things when other people might give up,” said Mr McClean. “It makes you feel alive to have a challenge, not just working to pay the bills.”
The young David Seamon picture reminds me of an old friend of mine, nicknamed Raymondo Bacardi. He was the spitting image. On a plane to Mallorca in the late eighties he turned round to face me and other friends and said with his typically milky smile: chaps if you cannot score girls in Mallorca you may as well give up… We all had some action but Raimondo’s powder stayed dry for two weeks hahaha
MAY 26, 1989
It’s up for grabs now……Thomassssssss
What a night that was
If Merino became AFC manager would you consider taking a Gooner-break until he was sacked?
Thankfully our board are not that daft (hopefully)
I don’t get why he’d change his shirt number just before being sold. Weird.
chas. Of course AR is staying. My headline was shameless hit mongering.
I know 🙂
Talking today to a young Forest supporter who loves football in general, he thinks Granit is exactly the player Arsenal have needed for the last 5 years.
He also thinks that Eddie Howe should be the next England manager.
Well that’s football ruined for me. It’s s whole new level of low listening to United fans who used to hate Mourinho now talk about him like he’s their saviour. Fuck off. If he’d come to Arsenal, I’d still hate him, and that’s fact.
Football is the Kardashian of sport. Full of shite. Good luck to you all. FGG is out.
Love Iwobi’s pit-a-pat style of running.
Supporting Arsenal has just been ruined for me.
Full of morons and shite.
chas is out.
When people make unusual comments, I might look at the time. If I see someone saying they’re “coming out” (which is legal in this country), 11.26pm tells me the author might possibly have just got in from the boozer 🙂
Did 7:07 become famous ie are we playing a game?
Oh alright, I’ll go first. Have to say I’m still unsure, but narrowed it down to two.
Is it either Michelle Obama or Dame Judie Dench?
Dench is correct
I bet you know really
FFG, very funny 😅
Images all over the place again, Chas 🙃
God, this is hard
Punky, but not Costello.
Guitar is a red herring.
It’s a sun burnt fish, actually.
I hope you’re not telling me he’s a bloody drummer
They’re the defenders of the band world, and we couldn’t care less about them
Heart of Glass.
It’s a lead singer.
Was he a Womble?
His house could use a paint job. Looks like it has been done by Eddie’s Polish mates.
I assume he is English otherwise I would go for David Byrne.
Is it Uncle Bulgaria playing the viola at 1m40s?
Apologies to anyone out there.
I have been dragging the site down since stupid o’clock this morning right up until now.
In other Arsenal news, I just thought I’d have a quick look at Newsnow and apparently Hector and Rambo are off to Spain.
Whether it’s to Torremolinos or to Barcelona is yet to be revealed.
Hmmm, wondered why I stopped looking on there.
Here’s the answer to the quiz you’ve been pondering all day.
Should have got Joey
If I knew I’d say Peggy Sue……….
Why is Marc Overmans being considered for Sporting Director at Everton and not given a role at AFC?
Overmans has publicly stated his love of AFC and is currently SD of Ajax. Int makes sense to bring him home
Because be don’t know a Marc Overmans 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh Boy Chas your 7:07am sure looks like the Peggy Sue I knew………..
Don’t really want to watch England but Jack is starting 🙂
Looks like there is no All
Must talk football today 🙂
That’s a very good point about Overmars
Erik, Erik, ERIKKKKK
I’m doing a quick POST.
Anyone around to publish?
Its been really sad being unable to chat with like minds as much as one crave these days and thats thanks to my days at the hospital. Its even sadder not being able to read what is being said due to my poor sight induced by high sugar.
But let me hail every Gunner for their passion and zeal in ensuring
that the club return to the zenith of English and European football again.
I thought we would all be glad never seeing any of our players sold to any club again but I guess i was wrong. So may people would not mind our congested midfield lose Ramsey as he seems the weakest link there. How times flies and we tend to forget easily. Ramsey was our best player just three seasons ago. I am convinced he could still reach that dizzying heights again.. We should sell some players off but they must be dead woods. If Ramsey can contribute as many goals and marque performances that he pulled that season could that not help us greatly next season?
He is 25 and can still be properly groomed. He is not one of the players that aren’t actually pulling their mettle at the club at the moment though I quite agree that he underperformed last season.
Attention Rasp: could you reach me on email@example.com for an urgent matter. Many thanks