Time to open the cheque book Arsene.

So the Euros are over which should mean we can get on with the serious business of signing players. The two Manchester clubs have been spending money like drunken sailors; Chelsea have been a bit slower but all of them should have made their signings or at least made their respective approaches to the names they have on their wish lists.

The result of which should be that Arsenal can now start making their moves. Any target that we might have on our wish list will know that by now if they haven’t been approached by one of those three it is unlikely that they are going to do so which means that the clubs and their agents will have to negotiate with Arsenal in a more rational way. That’s to say, there is now no point in them using the negotiating tactic that they are expecting one of those three to come in and make a bid and thereby increasing the price to an unrealistic level because everyone knows that by now if they haven’t already done so it is highly unlikely that they will.

So, as they say, the ball is now in our court.

Do you expect us to make more signings? I do, I am nowhere near ready to start pointing the finger at Wenger and criticising him for apparently working in the Far East when he should, according to some, be here in London at the club trying to sign players in areas that many believe that we are lacking.

Why it matters where in the world he is is beyond me but hey ho.

As I said at the beginning, the Euros are over and now is the time for the club to start making their moves. But what should those moves be? A striker?

I think it is clear now that the club did make serious moves to sign Vardy but he chose to stay put. Strange choice to us, of course, but it does highlight what some of us are constantly saying and that is that the player has got to want to come to Arsenal or the amount of money Arsenal bid is irrelevant. This explains why the club simply offered the release clause for Suarez and now Vardy. That’s to say they made an offer of the amount that it would take to trigger the release of the player and then waited to find out if the player wanted to come to Arsenal if they showed the enthusiasm that the club hoped for then the exact amount of the transfer could be thrashed out. No club actually sells for the amount stated as a release clause. In the case of the two players Suarez and Vardy neither were interested in coming to the home of football – their loss.

So, moving on.

I can’t get excited about Lacazette; he just seems too much like Giroud and aren’t we all crying out for something a bit different or maybe I have got my comparison wrong what do you think?

Morata is a tricky one to know what is best. Looking for an equivalent I reach for Higuain as they both played for the same club. The Argentinean was average at best for most of his time at Real Madrid, a fact that is conveniently forgotten by all those who clamber for him now and blame Wenger for not signing him before he went to join Benitez at Napoli. I am not good a finding and comparing statistics but it would not surprise me if Morata’s and Higuain’s were the same at this stage of Morata’s career. Would I choose Morata over Higuain now? I am not sure what do you think?

A few thoughts by LB


109 Responses to Time to open the cheque book Arsene.

  1. Shard says:

    “No club actually sells for the amount stated as a release clause.”

    HI LB. That’s a very weird thing to say, when it is only Liverpool who have refused to honour their contract with a player in this way. (and if I had to guess, I think they have suffered because of it. Agents would be wary of sending their players to Liverpool now knowing they don’t honour their contractual obligations)

    Clubs in Spain have release clauses for all their players, and they usually sell UNDER them (if that’s what you meant then fair enough), since the release clauses are only meant to protect their investment. Athletic Bilbao are known as tough negotiators who insist on not selling for anything under the release clause (at which point they have no choice but to sell, as long as the player wants to leave)

    Nobody pays above the release clause (to the selling club) Nobody. It stops being a negotiation between clubs at that point. It becomes one between the buying club and the player.

  2. Jimmy says:

    “I can’t get excited about Lacazette; he just seems too much like Giroud ”

    You clearly haven´t seen Lacazetta play. Morata is more like Giroud. Higuain was a huge talent and he scored a lot in Real (107 in 190 games). We should have signed him and it´s all down to Wenger not getting his head out of his arse. Don´t defend Wenger in the transfer market. He´s a mess there.

  3. Shard says:

    The Higuain thing. Everybody blames Wenger, but here’s how I remember it happening. He was for sale for 28m or so. Then Real upped his price to 34, and kept upping it to above 40. That’s negotiating in bad faith. No idea where it would stop. Besides, why does everyone assume Higuain actually wanted to come to us over Napoli?

    Meanwhile, Suarez was ‘available’ for 40m (+1) and Arsenal had a better player who they believed they could get, who did want to come. So they switched targets. They weren’t to know Liverpool and the PFA chairman would conspire to play dirty.

    And then, we got Ozil.

    Another idea which has become fact over time is that we didn’t need a creative player like Ozil. False. A lack of creativity was as much a problem then as lack of finishing is now.

  4. LB says:


    Maybe you know more than me but I was working on the basis that Suarez was sold to Barcelona for more than the reported £40 mil release clause.

    And yes that was what I meant, clubs mostly in Spain often sell for less than the reported release clause.

    In my opinion the release clause is used to signal that a club is interested in buying a particular player and that is again in my opinion what Arsenal did in the case of Suarez.

    As a Spanish speaker I do keep abreast of what goes on in Spain but thank you for telling me your views on how things work there.

  5. Shard says:


    Suarez signed a new contract with Liverpool after he stayed. At higher wages, and with a higher release clause. No idea if Barca met his release clause or negotiated, but they would not have paid over it.

    Yo hablo espanol tambien. Poquito.

  6. Red Arnie says:

    Thanks, LB. 🙂 Yes, to build a team, not a bunch of overpriced overhyped selfish individuals. As Iceland and Portugal have shown, not to forget Leicester as well. 🙂

  7. Red Arnie says:

    As we all know, footie is a team game, not a catwalk. 🙂

  8. Shard says:


    Tell Ronaldo that 😛

  9. Shard says:


    I think Lacazette is more like Walcott than he is Giroud. But there’s another target who is available apparently. Mauro Icardi from Inter. He’s very much in the Giroud mould. But he is quicker. I think TA would really like it if we signed him. It would prove him right. 🙂

  10. Gio says:

    Quote: In the case of the two players Suarez and Vardy neither were interested in coming to the home of football – their loss.

    In the case of Suarez, I’m sure he has to console himself with all the winners medals at Barcelona. He must be devastated to miss out on a move to the arse.
    In the case of Vardy, why on earth would he want to leave a club which has just won the EPL where he is top dog and is adored by the fans to go to a club where the fans are constantly abusing the manager and booing the players.
    Yeah…Their loss. Lol.

  11. LB says:

    I’ve still got it. lol

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Like everybody else I am hoping for a juicy signing in attack and it will happen if Wenger can find a willing and affordable gem. If he does not he will give Theo, Sanogo and Iwobi a lot of starts until Ollie, Alexis and Ozil are fully recovered from the boring Euros.

    I see Wenger giving Sanogo another chance to develop into the next Giroud (but with added speed, Shard 😍 ), and if he cannot flock Theo, he will get starts as well early on. And then there is the highly promising Akpom.

    We could do with an experienced goal scorer on loan, a ‘Suker’, if he cannot find his seasonal gem (even though Xhaka is already a bees’ knees addition).

    One way or another, we are in a strong position to go for the league.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    You surely do 😉

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    I am in la douce France where the sun shines and the food is formidable (but yes Cornwall is no sh*thole either 😅 ). Ollie got a standing ovation when he was subbed against the Germans in the French bar I watched the game, which required a few tears of joy to be pinged away. 😍

    Giroud and Griesman was a lethal combo and I am hoping we can add a Griesman to our team.

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s Elneny”s birthday he’s 24 today.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Cheers LB. For the last few years I have always felt optimistic for the following season even if we have been found lacking in the previous one. For me there have almost always been positives and we have often looked a side where 2-3 key player additions would completely change us to title challengers even in seasons when we have ended 20 points from the top.

    This forthcoming season, however, I have a certain amount of dread about. I am not sure how we will fare in this TW due to the extreme competition for a small group of top players with all the big players and big spenders in for them. I fear we will end up feeding off the scraps and will not have improved key areas to a world class level.

    In main my fear surrounds the striker position as statistically speaking (bar a couple of anomalies) the champions all operate with a top class striker with a goal-scoring pedigree.

    I strongly feel that last summer was the time to strike for that player and go in big in for a type of striker that would probably now look a bargain. Not only do I feel we will be outbid now in this TW but I do also feel that our image as an ambitious club has taken a hit last season, due to us not spending big on that player and how the season eventually unfolded.

    I don’t quite buy all this nothing better out there that was available explanation. Any top striker on the move can probably choose between 2-3 big clubs and I don’t think we will be at the top of the pecking order.

    I do have reservations about the likes of Lacazette and Lukaku that they are decent to a level but not the level required to be the difference in winning the title or not. Also I feel these players could have been secured before now which would pour water over the nothing better available argument and again indicate we are now feeding off the scraps.

    Personally I think we will have to identify that striker that currently only has reasonable stats but has something about them that indicates they are about to move on to the next level, and in an attacking team will suddenly blitz their prior stats. A bit similar to Torres and Aguero before their move to the EPL.

    The player that Shard mentioned in his 10.29, Icardi, has caught my eye before now. Looks decent on both feet and in the air and has good technique and good pace but is a good physical unit as well. It would be a punt but a worthwhile one for me. The only thing is I don’t see him as a quicker Giroud but think we would play completely differently with him. I would see him more a Cavani or even a Lewandowski possibly if he fulfills his potential.

  17. Peter12 says:

    GoonerB, I think you are right. The best thing would be identify some good, solid, efficient striker who might suddenly flourish at Arsenal. True, a top, top player with astronomical fee and wages we cannot afford or Arsene will not gamble or such a player may not choose (any of these) to come to us. This would be futile thing; every club in the world would want that, and that is why Arsene whines that the right player is not available. But there are numerous good, solid, efficient players around 23-25 years old who could into gold given the right opportunity. If you like ‘before they were famous’ scenario. Please don’t ask for names of such people, I am not a single person recruiting department for the 5th richest club in the world, with 60,000 seater new stadium, da di da di da. What are they being paid for if not to identify and acquire? How come Leicester can do it, Westham can do it but we can’t even though we poached staff from Leicester for this reason? Do we have to go back to Southampton yet again to purchase a Chambers alike, Walcott, the Ox etc. why do we not get a through our youth ranks? If we have some coming through like Rashford, why do they not get playing time (with the exception perhaps of Iowabi)? What happened to Bielik? When will we replace Arteta, Flamini, Master Rosicky, injured Wellbeck, in terms of numbers at least? And that is simply to stand still! All these very basic questions have to be answered. People will need to be held responsible for the standstill. Would we have done worse in the market if we didn’t have the so called recruiting department? It seems to me that a one-man-and-his-dog recruiting department would have performed with no less success. This isn’t a simple ranting outrage session; I have asked valid questions which are in the minds of our supporters. There is nothing wrong with asking these question? What we need answers from our multimillion pound recruitment department to explain their apparent paralysis. Or should we rather put their salaries into buying players instead?

  18. LB says:

    A very well reasoned and compelling comment Peter12

    I see you used the fans’ convenient get out clause; that being, that you are not professional recruiter and therefore why should you be able to name a player we should be trying to sign?

    The thing about this and why is doesn’t work is that any player worth his salt is playing in the Champions League which every supporter of Arsenal watches. You can see, I can see and everyone with a telly can see which strikers play for who and the fact is that quite clearly there is not an abundance of strikers available.

    The problem we have with being the fifth richest club in the world is that there are four above us who are, if not more attractive to certain players Barcelona etc, certainly wealthier and as such can outbid us and that is why I say what I do above about us being in a certain pecking order.

    Last quick and easy one, you ask when Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky are going to be replaced, Peter I give you Coquelin, Elneny and Xhaka and that doesn’t take into account the returning Cazorla and Wilshere — we are fine in midfield.

    I hope don’t want to give the impression that I am completely happy with the way things stand at the moment because I am not. I would be very unhappy if we started next season with the exact squad we have right now but fingers crossed and all that I hope signings are made.

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post LB …. a nice bit of cage rattling/stirring

    …. I’ll take the bait 🙂

    We may be the 5th richest club in the world, but I doubt we are the 5th most attractive club for players to go to play for.

    We are statistically the 3rd or 4th best team in the UK, then there are the top teams in Spain, Italy, France and Germany to consider … so logically we probably come 8th or 9th in terms of attracting top players.

    Why? easy, we don’t splash the cash like the others, we haven’t won the EPL for 12 years and we haven’t won the CL. Whether true or not, we give the impression of being happy with top 4. It would be hard to criticise any of the top players we have had to sell in the last 8 years as pretty much all of them have won league titles and some the CL as well since moving on.

    So its Catch 22. If we were more consistent in terms of regularly winning trophies, we’d have a better chance of attracting top players – but without signing top players and without being willing to invest a higher percentage of our wealth to paying top players, we will remain where we are.

  20. LB says:

    It’s not as much fun catching them when they know they are being caught. lol.

  21. Rasp says:


    … another factor is that Arsene himself is obviously a draw for some of the better players – but with his contract ending next season, there may be some uncertainty about a future manager … just ask Juan Matta 🙂

  22. LBG says:

    Oh Rasp, Rasp, Rasp….be careful you are asking for more bait taking!
    “without signing top players and without being willing to invest a higher percentage of our wealth to paying for players, we will remain where we are”
    Who decides which players are top? Henry, Anelka,Vieira, Petit for instance. Why did a nothing like 5th most wealthy, Leicester win the Premier League? Are Ozil, Sanchez, Xhaka(potentially), Cech, Koschielny, not top players?
    Whose says our new Japanese player isn’t a new RVP?
    Chin up, things aren’t so potentially disastrous.
    And why can’t AW go out with a bang, and make everyone want to manage The Arsenal?

  23. chas says:

    Time to spend some fecking money, LB, ta.
    I wholeheartedly agree. 🙂

  24. chas says:

    After all, it’s no longer the sixties.

  25. Rasp says:

    Hi LBG, i’m not depressed, therefore don’t need to keep my chin up The players you list what a top players and they won the Premier League for us, those days are gone, the whole landscape of football in terms of money has changed since then. We are where we are, and know one can expect us to be signing top 70m (+) players, The will to do that would have to come from Mr Kroenke

  26. LBG says:

    Times may have changed but what is certain is 70+ million players are no guarantee of success.

  27. Rasp says:

    Of course not, but the price suggests that they are already playing at a very high standard. I haven’t once suggested we should go out and spend 70 million on the player, I’m just discussing The dynamics of the situation. Our opinions mean nothing, it is very clear how the club is run and for that reason we are never going to be one of the four or five biggest spenders

  28. Shard says:

    If Leicester can do it, why can’t Arsenal? Well, Leicester bought Mahrez for peanuts, and could give him playing time for 2 plus seasons of not doing anything spectacular. Will Arsenal fans be patient with such growing pains? I don’t think so.

    Arsenal are in the toughest position right now. They’re bigger than the medium sized clubs (some of whom used to be elite), but not quite at the top table yet. To get there is probably the toughest step.

    Now some might think the way to do it is by spending big amounts. I don’t disagree. That is a necessary part of it ultimately. But in my opinion it is also almost always the final part. We need to have built ourselves up gradually. Otherwise the risk of being stuck in a cycle of ups and downs is higher, and you still don’t (usually) scale the peak. Even if you do, you don’t stay there.

    Arsenal have gone about it the right way.

    Now, within the next few years, they should hope to be able to make the next step up into true elite status. That will require spending money, but spending it wisely rather than in desperation. If Higuain is the final piece of the puzzle, I bet you Arsenal would spend 70m on him. But he probably isn’t, and they won’t.

    I do think we need to add to our squad this season, and there are more options than previously.

    St: Lukaku, Morata (maybe?), Lacazette (maybe), Icardi, Milik, are a few names likely to be available.

    Wing: Mahrez, Gotze, Perisic, Draxler, again all likely to be available.

    CB: Koulibaly, Subotic, Marquinhos, The greek guy at Roma (Manolas?) have all been linked and not all of them will be unattainable. (if we’re even looking for a CB)

    I expect us to buy soon, but more importantly, buy well. I like our squad depth. Just need to add that little bit of quality. Which is one of Arsene’s favourite words 🙂

  29. LBG says:

    How much are Payet, Mahrez, Alli, Kane, Draxler, Milik, Witsel worth and who do they play for?
    My point is Rasp I don’t see why we have to be in the top three or four top spenders to be successful. (I don’t give a fig for the Champions League by the way!)

  30. Rasp says:

    We don’t LBG, and we haven’t. Every now and then a side buys a player with potential who ups his level and becomes world class like Mahrez for instance. We’ve tried to sign several players in recent years who have turned out to be that kind of player and Draxler is an example of that, but finding players just before they prove their class and the price goes through the roof is not easy – in fact you have to be lucky 🙂

  31. Shard says:

    Actually, there’s a lot of decisions Arsenal need to make.

    GK: Cech is still No 1, but he showed a worrying tendency to let shots from distance in. Who is the second choice? Ospina? Or will he force through a transfer. If so, do we bring back Szczesny? Or is he being sold? Is Martinez 2nd choice now and the guy we have on trial from Holland being looked at as 3rd choice? And what does this mean for our Homegrown quota (Martinez and Szczesny are both HG)

    Fullbacks. Is Gibbs leaving? If so, who are we signing? Who is Bellerin’s backup? Debuchy? Jenkinson? Chambers? Or someone new?

    Are we buying a new CB? If so, what do we do with Chambers? Play him at RB? Loan? (Sorry, but we won’t be selling Per, and we shouldn’t)

    Where do Walcott, Ox and Campbell fit in our plans? What impact does this have on our HG quota? Who are we getting to replace them, if anyone.

    Are any of the youngsters like Bielik, Moore, Jeff, Gnabry, Akpom or Sanogo ready to play a role in the first team squad?

    Midfield looks settled though, which is a good thing.

    I reckon the answer to some of these questions is already known to the club and they are working on it. Others might only be answered during pre season. (Other teams’ needs will also figure into our moves in the transfer market, and their timing)

    But the worry is that with Ramsey, Giroud, Ozil, Koscielny and Alexis likely to miss the start of the season, we’ll be short handed. (Maybe Xhaka and Cech too?) All the same, even a signing now doesn’t necessarily address that fully.

    Who would be your starting XI in case those guys are unavailable? And who would be the subs?

    I’d venture:
    Cech (assuming available)
    Bellerin Per Gabriel Monreal
    Coquelin Elneny
    Iwobi Ox

    Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Wilshere, Xhaka, Campbell, Akpom

  32. Rasp says:

    All true Shard. I agree we will be short of several key players at the start of the season – shame we’ve got pool, they didn’t have as many players involved in the EC

  33. chas says:

  34. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. nice discussion. 🙂

    Shard. Ronaldo’s catwalk, yes indeed. Portugal started playing as a team after he went out injured.

  35. GoonerB says:

    Evening all.

    Shard, to some degree I can buy into us working towards something in the next few years that takes us to elite status. This may turn out to be true, but to a large extent that analysis is based on the team we have right now with some additional polishing touches added to this achieve this result. Will we have the same basis of a team in the next few years though?

    I would then ask where the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, Koscielny, Cech, Monreal will all be in a few years. It seems to me that we would not only need the finishing touches that are apparent now, but would also need top level experienced replacements for these players. I don’t think this will be easy.

    It would seem thus we are constantly chasing a project completion that is always just out of reach, and I do feel that every couple of years this project completion date is pushed on again. I would have thought that while we have the likes of these players the time was right for us to push it through, and this has probably been the case from about 18 months back.

    Just as we were gaining momentum at the club I feel we have put the handbrake on again.

  36. Eddie says:

    chas at 6:49 – is that Raddy?

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha, I go to London for the day and miss an LB

    Funnily enough, I had an hour to kill and was in the LB Towers neck of the woods, and thought for a moment, mmmmm, if only I had the peddlers number…

  38. mickydidit89 says:


    Don’t mock the Raddy. He knows how your sort fall for the rose, big collar and husky smooth talking routine 🙂

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    should have been pedaller shouldn’t it spelling demons?

  40. Eddie says:

    I know micky, I have been at the receiving end once.
    It was a while back but I seem to remember him approaching me and saying that he thought I was short, fat and dark-haired. He seemed to be pleasantly surprised to find me short, fat but blond 🙂

  41. Eddie says:

    I am not even going to entertain a hope that Wenger will buy big this summer. He won’t. And I won’t be disappointed.

    So I am off this particular topic.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    His sort disgust me, Eddie

  43. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    That’s a good point, and it makes sense to try and maximise on the talent we have now.

    The club has been on an upward trajectory ever since Wenger took over, It seems impossible to think that we were behind Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Aston Villa in the financial stakes.

    Arsenal’s success till the early 2000s helped us build the stadium, which though it restricted us on the field, helped get us on the cusp of elite level. And you are right in that now with the talents of Ozil, Alexis etc, we need to make the most of the talent we have, like we did with Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, Vieira etc.

    All the same, it took 3 years since Bergkamp signalled a shift in Arsenal’s standing to get the first major trophy (A double actually). We’ve already won two FA Cups. It is important to win the league, but even the 98 team followed it up with 3 seasons of no trophies including heartbreak in 99. Players can be replaced no matter how talented.

    I agree with your point. But this isn’t mutually exclusive from the point I was making that it is far better to build up a squad gradually and remain at your true level, rather than act like Liverpool, go on a spending spree which you hope can get you across the line in first, only to then fall off for years.

    If we want to occupy the same table as the likes of Bayern, Real, Barcelona and ManU, we must build up to it. No amount of wishing, and actually no amount of transfers will make that happen on a faster timeline. Not even the billions on billions of City and Chelsea can do that (because it is unsustainable) A title is transitory, though obviously important to focus on in the short term. Getting to be a member of the elite is a longer term thing. I remain confident that Arsenal will eventually get there, and hopeful that the titles will come soon and ease that journey.

  44. Shard says:

    I was in LB’s neck of the woods a few times last year, but never could get a hold of him. Slippery fella that LB. Always disappeared from the blog whenever a potential meeting would come up 😛

  45. Eddie says:

    you are not much better micky – you held doors open for me and Peaches 🙂 🙂 It was just chas who pushed me, fed me fatty foods, scribbled with blood on the wall and argued about shortest walk to the station. Awful company

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    “He won’t. And I won’t be disappointed.”
    Yes you will, and so will I.
    Actually, it’ll be worse than that as I will be harking for “Theo through the middle” 🙂

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    “you held doors open for me and Peaches”

    Probably true Eddie, however, had that been Erik, the floor would have been strewn with rose petals

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    I get the feeling LB is simply a private fellow rather than slippery, and if I was a secret agent, I’d be private too, so I respect his stance

  49. Eddie says:

    do you mean “Theo through the door”?

  50. Eddie says:

    see, Sir Redgrave has just said on BBC that he wanted to be a footballer, but was told that if you not good at catching or passing a ball then you are probably good at rowing. Give Theo an ore

  51. LB says:

    My ears were burning, now I know why.

    The thing is my partner has a real job which involves going to an office and not getting home till late; as such, it only seems fair that I make the meal for her to home to in the evening.

    The spanner in the works is that we still have teenage son who is incapable of opening a tin, I exaggerate not, why don’t you teach him I hear you say? I suspect mothers will understand this better than fathers: when he is gone (finds a flat, whatever) the house, from my partner’s point of view, will be empty, an inevitable happening that she is unconsciously trying to do everything she can to delay. The result is she does everything for him and thereby making it more and more difficult for him to move away because he has never learnt to look after himself.

    You want to pick a fight with a mother and her youngest son? There is only going to be one winner.

    So I now come to football. As I make the evening meal for the family I am only able to arrive at the ground five minutes before the game starts which of course makes it impossible to meet people in the designated pub which, by the way, is usually located so far north it would be better described as South Leeds.

    Too much information? Well thank your lucky stars you never asked about my sex life. lol

  52. Red Arnie says:

    all in a day’s work. wow! that’s what a lovely post can deliver. 🙂

  53. Red Arnie says:

    Not participated much myself. my opinion is the dame old. and boring. 🙂

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    However dame old you is, every site needs a bloke with a beard, so for that reason, it’s nice to have you back in the fold 🙂

    I think I’ll be having the same problem with my son. Cannot open a tin. I’m reading the signs 🙂

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, back to LB’s post.

    I get what he’s saying by waiting until the silly season is over and the club’s willing to pay silly fees with silly wages are done, however, is there a case to be made that sometimes a transfer window merrygoround is triggered by one player.

    A few years ago we had the Suarez affair. Is this the summer when Aubameyang triggers a domino knock on thing

  56. wally says:

    I’m with eddie. No striker this year. Vardy was his splash, his big hope. That fell thru so…..A defender most likely and possibly a midfielder where we are definitely short with only 8 names in that pot. And possibly a goalie as Ospina seems to want the playing time he won’t get here.
    Wake me in August.

  57. Peter12 says:

    Some very good points made here. LB (thank you), Shard, LBS all raising excellent issues. The problem we have is that we have seen transfer-window after transfer-window not getting anywhere near reinforcements, no clear indication of where the club is going in terms of squad development and replenishment. This year it looks no different barring getting Xhaka. By the way LB when I said with that exception we haven’t replaced Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, I was talking about the numbers of players in the squad – not that we need more midfielders. Agreed, we have had (and still do) too many midfielders in the squad while the gaping holes remain CF, CD, RW being the most obvious. As fans we are not convinced that much is being achieved in the market (repeat of previous years), and it is kind of hope-against-hope situation. Particularly when we are down in numbers (about 3 at least), we cannot fathom out why we don’t seem to be getting anywhere; and the pre-season is only 10 days away, the start of season is only four weeks away. I must say, I cannot be sure even at the beginning of September that we will have additional players purchased. I can almost hear the argument trying to justify why we should wait till January window. Some people would dismiss these comments as whining; wrong, we are not whining. We love the club, we want to achieve as much as we can we want to see a full squad of competent players who are ready to start the season in the first week of August. Not much to ask. We don’t want to be proven right come September. I would rather I was proven wrong and we have an excellent squad right from the kick-off. Our track record doesn’t make me very hopeful. Thanks again to LG, Shard, LBG.

    PS. I wonder why we don’t look at Hernandez (real poacher), Janssen (if he is still available), Fonte, and Rodriguez again. They are not big names; would not cost the earth. Is it worse than not even having full squad? No doubt you can think of some good candidates about whom you know more.

  58. GoonerB says:

    LB the designated pub is only about 7 mins away from your normal haunt, probably only 5 for a man in as good shape as you what with all the cycling 🙂

    Shard, although I have trepidation’s about how we will exit this TW and how strong we will be going into the new season I can still see a way to get what we need for a serious EPL title tilt right now. I have a feeling that something may come from slightly left field that none will see coming and it will potentially involve player swap deals.

    I have a suspicion about Sanchez and the Juve rumours. I do love the guy but there was some strange body language near the end of last season and with 2 years left we can’t afford to dither on such a valuable asset if his head is already elsewhere.

    Juve have players we could do with, possibly a top commanding CD (I think we were linked with one last season but forget the name). As good as Sanchez is I can see top options around that have a similar skill set and can replace him. Reus, Payet, Isco, Rodriguez, Draxler, Perisic all spring to mind among others.

    Conversely someone like Ozil seems to have a unique skill set that I don’t see in many other players so he is in essence more important to hold on to. A cash (in our favour) + player we need deal from Juve then use that cash and some from the coffers for a replacement and get the striker we need and we would be in decent shape.

    The only thing is to do this we will probably need to bring in more than the magic 3 AW always says shouldn’t be exceeded. I personally don’t see a problem with it going beyond this figure if required at a certain time, like it may be now, as long as it is not a yearly occurrence. We would still for the most have a very settled squad that all know each other so we can assimilate new arrivals without issue IMO.

    Someone said something to me the other day that I thought was quite poignant, which was that Arsene Wenger sometimes gets trapped by his own rules. I had to agree with it with regard to some areas of consideration.

  59. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    I tend to not pay too much attention to Wenger’s ‘rules’. I think too much emphasis is put on them. I view them more as ‘rules of thumb’, rather than a ‘line in the sand’.

    I don’t believe Wenger holds himself hostage to any ideology other than doing the best job he can for Arsenal, the players, and himself. I do not believe he puts ideology over practicality.

    Specifically on the Alexis thing, the Juve director has said that Arsenal told him Sanchez is not for sale. I don’t think Arsenal are going to sell him, or even use him in a swap deal. We’re not short of cash so that has less value to us right now anyway, and I don’t think it is likely that we’ll get to fill any gaps in our squad by creating another one. Who could Juventus offer us that we really really want? Maybe Dybala (who is essentially Alexis), maybe a defender. They aren’t going to give up Pogba (their cash cow) for Alexis, and I’m not convinced we need Pogba more than Alexis right now anyway.

    We can always sell Alexis next year if indeed he isn’t signing a contract extension. For now, I would bet he’s staying.

  60. Rasp says:

    Well it looks like the spuds have found a decent striker of the type we need at an affordable price of sub £30m …… I sincerely hope you’re right GB. How many transfer windows have we been through with this level of hope over expectation? 🙂

  61. LB says:

    Well I am not sure who it was on here who said that Tony Adams was in line to return to the club, but whoever it was Chapeau because I remember pouring cold water over it.

    Apparently it is official, Thierry is leaving and TA will be looking after the under 18s.

  62. LB says:

    Its not really that difficult for spuds to improve their forward line because after Kane they had……….hmmmmm…….no one.

  63. Shard says:


    Meh to Janssen.

    Now for all I know he could turn out to be the next Van Nistelrooy, but I think it is unlikely.

    I can guarantee if Arsenal signed this guy there would be talk of no ambition etc.

    If we’re buying a striker from the Eredivisie, I would hope for someone like Milik from Ajax.

    Basically, I’m not fussed about Janssen going to Spurs. Just like I’m not fussed about Batshuayi going to Chelsea. Just like I wasn’t about Liverpool accumulating Benteke, Balotelli, Origi, etc.

  64. Rasp says:

    Hi Shard, we’ve signed a shirt seller in the form of Takuma Asano – a 21 year old Japanese player with less pedigree than Janssen.

    Jahnssen has great potential and is currently scoring more a goal every 2 games … I know which one of the two I would prefer 🙂

  65. Shard says:


    Asano is ‘one for the future’ as Wenger said. He’s not in our first team plans for now.

    Besides, I think it is unfair to label him just as a shirt seller. It’s not like the Japanese don’t produce good players. If we’d bought a young 21 y/o from say Croatia, I don’t think people would instantly imply he’s no good.

    But you know who bought well? Leicester. Ahmed Musa looks like he’ll fit in perfectly there, and actually might have been worth a punt from Arsenal too.

  66. Peter12 says:

    Hello Shard, just one question though: are we saying “no-player” is better than somebody who is not at the moment proven (say, Jenssen for the sake of argument), come Sept 1st? Because that is my fear. The fright of getting it wrong when fees of size €94m being quoted for some big names is so great that our recruitment is in paralysis. That is the way I see it at the moment. I could be wrong; I would love it if I am proven wrong. Because at the end of the day we all want the very best for the club we love.

  67. Shard says:

    Hi Peter

    No. We’re not saying that. We don’t have a lack of players actually. Just not players we trust because….They aren’t proven (or didn’t perform).

    Sanogo and Akpom. And a lot of youngsters. Campbell has experience at CF too. As does Walcott.

    My point on Janssen was simply to disagree with the suggestion (or implication) that Spurs have done something that Arsenal should have done/couldn’t do.

    Janssen was top scorer in the Eredivisie. Not a secret. But also, in my opinion. Not the signing I’d want for Arsenal.

    In fact, I’ve been looking at the lesser leagues now.

    In the Netherlands, there’s Milik, and there’s also Luuk De Jong.

    In Russia, Fedor Smolov, and to a lesser extent Quincy Promes.

    Found no one in Turkey

    But came across one player in Italy we absolutely have to buy…if only as a massive troll.

    Kevin Lasagna!!

  68. Rasp says:

    Maybe we need some fresh faces in our scouting network Shard. Southampton and Leicester have outshone us recently.

  69. Shard says:


    Maybe. Although it must be kept in mind that Southampton and Leicester are both looking at a different profile of player than we are. This is not to diminish their efforts. Just to highlight that it isn’t a straight comparison.

    Btw, Asano, by some accounts, was recommended by the scout we recently acquired from Leicester.

  70. Peter12 says:

    Hi Shard,

    I like “Kevin Lasagna”!

    Seriously, though, I thought Milik was really handful few days ago. I also like Luuk De Jong (not only for his name). In the Euro Final Eder look quite something; his movement and aggression was what lifted Portugal to continue fighting. His goal was sublime. Is he available by any chance? Do you think he would have been advised not to shoot from distance? Cheers.

  71. Peter12 says:


    Oh, I meant to mention: I’d love Campbell to be given a longer stint in the team; you could be right, playing as a CF (maybe even alongside Giroud) he could persuade Wenger to experiment with 4-4-2. I don’t know the Russian players well at all. Cheers

  72. Shard says:

    I really like Arkadiusz Milik. I first saw him play for Ajax when I was hoping to watch Sanogo play there. I was very impressed. Seemed almost like a young Zlatan to me. Everton are apparently in for him. Unless that means we’re getting Lukaku, we should be too. I mean I would be satisfied with Milik as our new striker.

    Apart from Lacazette, who I also like, what do we make of the finishing from this guy? I realise they are only highlights and not hugely impressive ones in themselves, but there’s something completely non-fussy about his finishing which I like.

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    Wenger will always leave room for youngsters to come through, and it seems we finally have a group who could break into the first team in the next couple of years. Akpom, JRA, Iwobi and Toral all look like excellent prospects and I believe any lack of transfer activity will be in part due to the emergence of these players.

    This will annoy large sections of Arsenal fans, including myself to some extent, but if Wenger hasn’t changed in the last 20 years then what makes us think he’s going to do it now. If anything, the way the transfer market is heading will only make it more important for teams to develop talent rather than buy it. Some of the fees that are being paid for average players is getting beyond stupid. There is a real lack of talent out there so if you can develop your own whilst making your existing players better (the ones who are yet to peak) then you are going to be putting yourself in a strong position.

    I still believe we will see at least one more arrival, but i also think we’ll see some very exciting youngsters getting games this season.

  74. Aaron says:

    What is laughable on here is people saying that the youngsters can just walk in and replace Flam, Arteta, Ros, Santi, Sanchez, Giroud (yes Debu) and more. All you all are dreaming. Just like if, heaven forbid, Kos or Mert go down for a period of time. Let me know how the season will go with no D!
    Many of you will say the youngsters will step up? Who stepped up when Giroud and Sanchez got hurt, Santi, Danny…Puleeze.. Goals dried up, or when the back line started to get shuffled under Szcz, he went from a top keeper to $h*te in 1 season, yeah right. We are starting to lack quality experience for replacements that will actually have to play hard minutes, not just 10 minutes of sub time. Arsenal need a striker and defender to compete this season. 1 injury away from attaining nothing.

  75. fatgingergooner says:


    Just because somebody says we have good youngsters coming through doesn’t mean they are implying we don’t need to sign anyone! I think everyone on this sight agrees we need a striker, a centre back and possibly a right winger. In reality though we are talking about a manager who has a history of bringing through young talent, so it’s a good idea to set your expectations at a realistic level as there is no way we are signing 3 more players.

    Look at the squad. Bellerin, Coquelin, Campbell, Iwobi all played ‘hard minutes’ last season. These players don’t just appear from nowhere. Someone, leaves, someone steps up. That’s the order of things and that will never change. Give me a youngster breaking into the team over a £15m squad player any day of the week.

  76. Shard says:


    Like I said yesterday, I suspect some of the decisions we need to make will be made during pre-season based on training and matches. e.g, do we buy a wide forward or do we think Theo and Ox will improve and have sufficient challenge from the likes of Campbell, Gnabry and Jeff.

    That doesn’t mean we aren’t already looking in the market. If we find a better player, available at the right price and a good fit in the team, we’d do it. But before finally pulling the trigger on say, Arda Turan, Wenger would like to gauge what he already has. And that is right.

  77. chas says:

  78. Shard says:

    How many minutes did Arteta, Rosicky and Wilshere play the whole season? We’ve added Xhaka, and Elneny was added in January and will be reasonably expected to play more minutes.

    Xhaka replaces Arteta. Iwobi is Rosicky-like (and those two players barely played last season), and Wilshere and Elneny together should be able to cover Flamini’s minutes easily. That’s before you get into the youngsters.

    ‘Three out, only one in’ isn’t entirely accurate in terms of depth.

    With Welbeck’s injury we are short of depth (and quality) up front.
    Out wide we have a lot of players, but only Alexis as top quality. Ideally we’d buy here, but let’s not go overboard and discount the Campbell, Ox and Walcott completely. Nor the youngsters.

  79. Aaron says:

    Point taken.
    Lets consider Bellerin played considerable minutes, Coq got some, then was shifted out, Campbell played basically 0 and Iwobi started to get some significant time.
    What I am saying is Arsene blew it 2X for 1st place because of no reliable back ups. So, if Met or Kos go down, you did see that Kos was limping all yesterday with bandage on knee; Gabriel and Chambers can play the whole season without rest?
    Or Sanchez and Giroud, Giroud was a maybe for the game, held out a practice, just got NO rest, that OX, Theo or Campbell will replace the goals.
    Not in this lifetime mate.
    They gd better buy 2 players as 3 good ones just walked out the door.
    See this all the time in industry, very good people retire, baby boomers, and the “youngster come to the rescue” and then the corporate level executives can’t figure out why there is a significant drop in productivity. Hilarious really.
    It is called transition time.
    Arsene has known for a while we need a defender and another striker for 3 years but has done squat cuz cheap a$$ stan does not want to spend ANY money.
    The joke will be on us and I am not laughing and will be downright pissed if this is how it plays out again.
    10 points behind Leicester City because we did not find 10 goals is some serious negligence!

  80. RC78 says:

    I am expecting a few signings:
    2 for sure: CB and FW
    1 maybe: FB

    Let us see what AW pulls out of the hat

  81. Shard says:

    The start of the season can potentially be a problem for Arsenal. Considering the number of players missing. Although it is possible that Giroud, Koscielny, Ozil, Ramsey etc are available. Depends on how much time off they get. Some reports saying Giroud and Kos will get 3 weeks instead of the usual 4. Presumably the same would be true of Ozil and Ramsey. So, by that calculation, all those players should be back in training by Aug 1st. Which should allow them to play 2 weeks later.

    But, Liverpool had fewer players away (I think) and they play their first pre season friendly tomorrow, while we play on the 22nd.

    Either way. I can’t wait for the season to start.

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    Wenger likes utility players. With that in mind I think Draxler would be a great addition. He can play as a striker if needed but when Welbz comes back he can play LW with Sanchez RW. I can’t see Wenger spending £50m on a ST who can only play that position when he already has Giroud.

    With Hayden going out we do need a CB, although I think Wenger will see Monreal as a fifth choice CB in which case we may get a utility defender in who can play either FB role.

  83. RC78 says:

    Cech – Gold
    Bellerin – Gold
    BFG – Silver
    Kos – Gold
    Monreal – Silver
    Ramsey – Silver/Gold
    Xhaka – Silver/Gold
    El Neny – Silver/Gold
    Ozil – Gold
    Sanchez – Gold
    Giroud – Silver

    Ospina – Gold
    Debuchy – Bronze
    Chambers – Bronze
    Gabriel – Bronze
    Gibbs – Bronze
    Ox – Silver
    Coq – Silver
    Wlshere – Silver
    Cazorla – Gold
    Walcott – Silver
    Wellbeck – Silver
    Iwobi – Silver

    We have too much silver and not enough gold in our team…
    We can’t afford to have bronze players

    We need Gold in our Starting XI and then half gold half silver on our bench…

  84. chas says:

  85. Peter12 says:

    I think you comment about utility players is OK to some extent. Yes you can swap and change between midfielders and forward positions. However when it comes to a Centre Back that doesn’t apply as it is a specialist position like Goal Keeper. I know we have occasionally used Monreal there (out of desperation) but it showed although he tried. So, when we are down to one CD (which is now) even ignoring the injury to Konshelny, it is desperate. Gabriel does not seem to have the temperament (yet), Mert unfortunately is now not really good enough (nice character though he is), Chambers, too, not developed enough (like flogging a dead horse if you ask me, though I know that sounds unkind) leaves us with ONE SINGLE CENTRAL DEFENDER (Konshelny) who is nursing a nasty injury. If I am making it sound bad, it is because it is bad. And the new season is soon to start. Can you tell me which other team in the EPL would be dawdling in such a dire situation. I can’t even see anybody from the youth ranks who can stand in a few games just to make it the 2nd central defender. If I am missing out something please let me know.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    Thierry Henry has left Arsenal after manager Arsene Wenger said he could not combine his job as a television pundit with his youth coaching role.

    Henry worked with youth players as part of his Uefa A Licence course but was not prepared to give up his media work.

    Ex-Gunners captain Tony Adams, 49, will take on the role that had been offered to Henry, assisting under-18s coach Kwame Ampadu.

    Henry, 38, said he was “honoured” to have been offered the role.

    He added: “I respect Arsene Wenger’s decision and I want to wish their manager Kwame Ampadu, the boys and everyone at the club all the best for the forthcoming season.”

    Henry must now find a team to coach in order to complete his Pro Licence.

    The former France forward is employed as a television pundit by Sky Sports and worked for BBC Sport during Euro 2016.

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    We don’t have 1 CB though do we! We have 4. Granted, Chambers and Gabriel need to improve, but if we just go and buy 3 others then that won’t happen will it? We need 3 because we only have 1 apparently!

  88. chas says:

  89. chas says:

  90. Aaron says:

    We need 1 CB who can fight for a starting place-today, now, immediately, this moment, second, millisecond, and same goes for a forward. Cuz if Kos, Giroud, Mesut and Sanchez don’t get at least 4 weeks off,all-not 1, 2, or 3, at the beginning of the season Arsenal will lose one of them to serious injury. Therein lies the rub. Buy now or forget the almost season again due to redlined players!!

  91. LBG says:

    Thanks Shard and fgg for so much considered opinion today on this site.

  92. chas says:

  93. chas says:

  94. chas says:

  95. LBG says:

    Morning Chas
    9.26pm Jack Charlton with Billy Brenner and Johnny Giles three of the slyest, dirtiest players I ever saw live.

  96. mickydidit89 says:


    I got Big Jack, but how the hell did you work out the bloke in green was Bremner. Not a trace of ginger is visible?

  97. chas mobile says:

    Terry Cooper and Gary Sprake

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, ok.
    Thanks for the morning visuals Chas

  99. mickydidit89 says:


    Well, a sort of comment/question/starter

  100. Morning all

    Thanks for the post Micky, we have one from GunnerN5 waiting in the wings so I’ll use his first if that’s ok with you …….

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Permission granted Yer Maj

  102. Eddie says:

    see, and you call Raddy a creepy crawler. Yer Maj

  103. There’s a New Post everyone ……………………..

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    No Eddie
    Erik would have thrown his cloak down first, then hailed the divinely chosen one 🙂

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