Prediction Time. Can AFC compete with the Big Spenders?

Just a few days until the start of the campaign, surely the best time to dream that Arsenal can finish one place higher than last season.

Or perhaps you are a “realist” and think we will finish outside the Top 4; that the spending frenzy by The Oilers, Liverpool and United will condemn us to the Europa League at best.

What do you think?

 

written by Big Raddy

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76 Responses to Prediction Time. Can AFC compete with the Big Spenders?

  1. Whilst signings are important, its how the players perform during the season that will determine how we get on. It doesnt matter if you have a £100m midfielder if hes injured or plays like a £5m midfielder for half a season. Last year we had a squad capable of winning the league (certainly better in quality than Leicester) but were let down by injuries and players out of form. How often did we all make statements like ‘when Sanchez and Coquelin return we will kick on’ or ‘if we can regain our form we will have a chance’ etc.

    Whilst new signings will give us a better platform, its the form and fitness of of our current players that will decide where we finish this season, and that shouldnt be forgotten as we all hope for new players. IF a few of Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Ox, Giroud, Chambers, Campbell, Gibbs, Elneny and Sanchez can play at the level that Ozil, Bellerin and Kos did last season then we can win the league regardless of who we sign. They are all capable, but its time to deliver.

    I voted twice by the way. Third if we carry on as we are. First if we the players mentioned perform to the best of their ability.

  2. KT Dukpa says:

    Same old story. AFC will finish at top four. Will be out of Champions League in the round of 16. Will make profit money-wise. AFC has become stagnant under Wenger.How can you compete with top clubs if you can’t compete with them in transfer market.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Raddy ⚽️⚽️

    I am with the voice of reason that is FFG. It depends on many factors but we have the basic ingredients in place to win it. Let’s enjoy the beauty of incremental growth topped off with some fine Xhaka cream. CoyGs!

  4. wally says:

    it all depends on whether we get bony or not doesn’t it.

  5. If the players commit then selves we will surely win the league convincingly.but there is really a need for the boss to add flesh to the squad one in defense and attack

  6. Eddie says:

    not many people care about 2nd or 3rd position 🙂 most voters are deluded and are hoping for the top position.

    I cannot remember if I voted 3rd or 4th, but who cares. We are not going to win it this season, again. Yes chas, before we even kick the ball on Sunday I wrote our chances off. That’s me, the doomer.

  7. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Hi KT Dupka.

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion but Arsenal have finished the last 3 seasons 4th, 3rd and 2nd. Divorced from our own beliefs, issues and biases, the numbers say that we have not only not been stagnant, but in fact have been improving year after year. You can argue style and effectiveness and tactics if you want, but surely final league position is how we ultimately judge the progress of a team.

    If you prefer to talk about actual honest to God trophies, how about 2 FA Cups and a Charity Shield (sure the Shield isn’t important in itself, but being part of that match means your team was one of the winners the previous reasons). Compared to the previous 10 years it’s hard to argue there’s not been slow but steady improvement.

    If you’re unhappy with where Arsenal stand at the moment that’s fair enough. But I honestly don’t think things are half as bad as we’re constantly told in the press and on the blogs.

    Sure we could do better, and that is why i’ve cast my vote for 1st this year.

  8. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Ha ha Eddie.

    I guess you can take some comfort in the fact that you’re not amongst the 10% that voted 6th.

  9. chas says:

  10. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    I voted for the top option before realising it said Top Of The League rather than Top Of The Pops. Soz

  11. JM says:

    The club can compete for the league with another 7 to 8 teams. (5 northern/midlands – Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Everton and Leicester and 3 London-based – Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham)

    Although the resources shall be fully stretched by
    (1) the distraction of the champions league and
    (2) unforeseen major long-termed injuries to 1st team squad players at any pivotal points of the season

    For (1):
    Arsenal are seeded in Pot 2, alongside Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen
    (and maybe Basel and Tottenham depending on results of qualifiers where e.g. Man City, Roma, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Porto, Villarreal, Monaco are fighting to get through via Pot 2 or Pot 3). Arsenal will not be drawn into a group with any other teams from Pot 2.

    Pot 1 includes CL regulars and heavyweights, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Leicester, Benfica and CSKA Moscow.

    Pot 3 currently reads PSV Eindhoven, Lyon, Sporting Lisbon and Dynamo Kiev with Club Brugge pending on qualifiers results. (those qualifiers who did not get into Pot 2, go to Pot 3)

    Fixtures (without knowing the home and away legs)
    (13th/14th Sep) Match 1 is sandwiched between (H)Southampton and (A)Hull
    (27th/28th Sep) Match 2 is sandwiched between (H)Chelsea and (A)Burnley
    (18th/19th Oct) Match 3 is sandwiched between (H)Swansea and (H)Middlesbrough
    (1st/2nd Nov) Match 4 is sandwiched between (A)Sunderland and (H)Tottenham
    (22nd/23rd Nov) Match 5 is sandwiched between (A)Man United and (H)Bournemouth
    (6th/7th Dec) Match 6 is sandwiched between (A)West Ham and (H)Stoke City

    League and CL games above are potential minefields in either competition.

    Chelsea, Liverpool and maybe Everton (now with Koeman at helm) are without European distractions. They will not hesitate to take early gifts to set the pace for the 1st half of season. Thus, Arsenal’s first match against Liverpool is very important.

    For (2):
    Welbeck (cartilage knee Injury; returning Jan 2017)
    Mertesacker (knee injury; returning Jan 2017)
    Jenkinson (ACL knee injury; returning Nov 2016)
    Gabriel (ankle/foot injury; returning Oct 2016)

    Currently, Leicester, Man United and Tottenham have no long term injuries to their 1st team players. The most durable team with their best resources available to them throughout the season will win the league (which Leicester did last time round).

  12. Eddie says:

    why is JC not going? is he ok?
    who took the ticket, I thought I was first to respond

  13. Eddie says:

    chas – what’s that photo? it’s not messi, nor his dog. He has dog de bordeaux

  14. fatgingergooner says:

    We should re-do the vote after the window closes and see how it differs. Mustafi and a decent ST and I would dare suggest it’s been a very good window.

  15. LB says:

    So Mustafi has agreed to join Arsenal but a fee has not been agreed.

    What on earth does that mean?

  16. Shard says:

    LB

    Arsenal approach Valencia and they agree that Mustafi is for sale. They agree on a tentative price and start to get to the details.

    In the meantime, Valencia allow Arsenal to discuss wages with Mustafi, in the interests of time and clarity. Does Mustafi even want to join? How much will he cost etc. Once this is known, the details can be worked on with more certainty (on Arsenal’s part at least)

    That’s what I make of it.

  17. RC78 says:

    FGG – I agree with you. Right now and based on current squads, I would say that if we finish 4th, it would be good given the fact that neither Man Utd, Chelsea nor Liverpool are playing a European competition and have made some good purchases AND we have not addressed our CB and FW issues…

  18. RC78 says:

    Mustafi is ready to join Arsenal – agreed terms and conditions.

    Arsenal cannot approach Mustafi without Valencia’s permission, which means Valencia is ok with the sale. We just need to agree on the price. I think it will be 35 Mln EUR.

    NOW – Apparently we have just made a 41 Mln EUR bid for Mahrez and Mahrez has indicated that he would be keen in joining AFC.
    —————– Cech ———————
    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    —–Ramsey Xhaka—–
    —————-Ozil—————
    Mahrez – Giroud – Sanchez

    Ospina – Debuchy, BFG, Chambers, Gibbs – Wilshere, Coquelin, El Neny – Ox, Walcott, Cazorla

    + Holding, Campbell, Iwobi, Jeff, Akpom

  19. LB says:

    Actually I know what that one means and that is Wenger has sailed so close to the wind that even he realised that if he didn’t do something then the whole house of cards could fall on him.

    What am I talking about. The chances of us beating Liverpool with the current defence are slim, not impossible but slim. There is also the other possibility that Holding could be scared for life if it goes as wrong as it could.

    Still don’t know what I am talking about? Holding was fine against some has-beens in the States and some low level Vikings but he was shown up for the youthful prospect he is against serious prem opposition like City so much so that Wenger rushed him off at half time.

    Holding could be embarrassed by Liverpool; he could also have the same happen against Leicester and with Koscielny only returning to face Watford then even the non ‘realists’ like me can see that Wenger could be facing three losses out of three and that would lead to a black scarf riot.

    Have you ever heard of a situation when the club has made public that a player has agreed to join but a fee has not been reached?

    It never happens, some may say that it is Wenger’s job to bring new signings in to strengthen our weak areas and that is right but I have never known a situation when a similar announcement has been made; and necessary as well, because now if we lose against Liverpool Wenger is able to pacify us by saying all is going to be well Mustafi is on his way. Of course if we beat Liverpool the price goes down because we can give the impression that we don’t really need Mustafi.

    You are sailing very, very close to the wind Arsene.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    I think that with Ozil and Mertesacker already here we stand a good chance of getting Mustafi.

  21. Shard says:

    I’m with fgg. It’s form and fitness that makes the difference. I believe we have good squad depth, except at striker, but it is already being tested by the latecomers from the Euros, and the injuries to 2 CBs.

    I’m as excited by the thought of a new signing, but I really would like to see the players from our academy come through and make a positive impact.

    As for our opponents. It’s tough to call, but my gut tells me Chelsea will be our toughest opponents. No CL can be such a huge bonus as we saw with Liverpool, and they have players who know how to win, by hook or more usually by crook, and they’ve got in a manager that suits their philosophy.

    Looks like we’ve added Mustafi. A striker, or if Alexis is going to play there, then a winger, combined with the earlier mentioned young players, and I think we’ve got a great chance.

    As always, I must mention that I would be a lot more confident of a league win if I believed that the referees would play fair with us. But I don’t, so I am less sure. About 72% confident.

  22. LB says:

    I agree with your view Shard but you have to pretend not to know to get good comments.

    One day Kelsey is going to do that and we are all going to say, ahhhh, yes, you had us Kelsey.

    I think……………

  23. Eddie says:

    redo the vote after the window closes 🙂 🙂 why??

  24. LB says:

    That has got to be true GN5.

    Ozil and Mertesacker should make Mustafi feel at home.

  25. Shard says:

    Hahaha LB. You had me going there for a bit.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Erik. I vote 3rd now. 1st at the end of window 🙂

    Nothing better when analysing “what does it mean” than having Shard and LB at the crease 🙂

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Course we will win the league Raddy.

    I dont buy any negativity. As far as I’m concerned we are Champions every year.

    There is one attribute that every Arsenal should have and this should be nurtured and maintained. Any younger Gooners or people who only started following in the last 10 years or so, listen very carefully. Its “ARROGANCE”.

    Been an Arsenal fan is a bestowed honour and should always be treated with respect.

    Always claim victory because “We are Arsenal”. Be consistent. Do net let a disappointing defeat e.g. we miss several chances and the jammy bastards scrooge a 1-0 win affect you. Rise above such emotion. We are better because “We are Arsenal”

    Quick tips on deflecting the unwanted,

    A Totnumb fan gives it the bigun? Inform him you have installed a secret camera in his bedroom and that the police will soon be knocking to nick him and his accomplice for depravity. Let him know that he should tell Clive Allen the gimp mask affords no protection. The old bill have identified him by his stretch marks.

    A southern Utd fan gets fresh? Tell him you have heard Northern Robbers are bored of turning over Utd players drums so have decided to target wanky Utd fans instead. Stare at him very intently when mentioning the word wanky.

    Overall, even when a team finishes above us, insist we are better, “We are Arsenal”

  28. Eddie says:

    The Arsenal to you Terry, We are The Arsenal

  29. Shard says:

    I just thought of Eddie shouting at the stadium about how the song should go.. Aaannd It’s THE Arsenal FC..You stupid so and so’s.

  30. LBG says:

    Hooray for Terry!
    LB
    What’s so great about Liverpool? One game against Barca ( and another against Mainz!).
    Klopp may be looking for all action, but he won’t get an immediate Dortmund effect!

  31. Eddie says:

    shard – that might be the reason why chas didn’t sell JC’s ticket to me 😦

  32. Shard says:

    Oops.

    I’m not getting involved in that one 🙂

  33. haha, your right Eddie. Now I’m going to have to contact the thousands I have been arrogant to and make amends.

    “Hello, don’t know wether you remember me? just phoning to say I was the bloke who was arrogant to you outside a kebab shop back in 1988. Yes, yes, the man with unseemly body hair. Anyway, just a courtesy call to say I meant to say “The Arsenal”. What, your not him you say? Your his brother and he’s sadly passed on? Is there anyway I can contact him? Hello hello, hello?”

  34. Eddie says:

    Terry 🙂 🙂 oi, remember when you told us your mother stormed upstairs to the bathroom when your wife refused to wash your hair for you? Was it the hair on your top or hair all over you?

  35. LB says:

    LBG

    It’s not that I think that Liverpool are that good; we could well score more goals than them but I do fear for our central defenders, for the reasons that I gave above.

  36. it was hair on the head Eddie. Even my dear old mum couldn’t stand my body hair. One of the conditions of her washing my hair was I wear a catsuit haha

  37. Eddie says:

    Terry!!!! I think some women like hairy men, the primal instinct thingy. I am very civilized 🙂

    LB – I cannot remember last time we lost to Pool at home. I am sure some clever clog will remind me, but I am pretty sure we have a formidable record against the Scoucers at home

  38. Eddie says:

    yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, exactly 5 years ago. Freak result 🙂

  39. LB says:

    Eddie

    Thank you for the encouragement, very kind.

    I would feel better though if we had a formidable central defender pairing rather than a formidable home record against Liverpool.

    Gotta love the way Wenger oozes confidence.

  40. Eddie says:

    ha ha LB 🙂

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    LB,

    Eddie was correct –

    Our last loss was in 2011/12 we lost 0-2.

    Our home record against them is W9. D9, L6.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Seems a fine day to sign a CB.

    Or go for a cycle ride in the country, find a tea room and eat a delicious cake (my day plan)

  43. Eddie says:

    and I am going to scout a future CB, he should be ready in 15-20 years 🙂

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmmm One of my favourites. Looks like cherry and almond tart. Add a little cream or creme frais and Happy Days…

  45. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, I made a plum flan yesterday 🙂

    when my grandson is getting ready for the starting XI we might have to do with another BFG

  46. chas mobile says:

    Plum wine started off yesterday

  47. LB says:

    Arsenal have agreed to sign Leonel Messi the fee is to be decided.

  48. LB says:

    OK, I have finally worked out what is going on, the announcement wasn’t made by either of the clubs, it was made by an agent who is a mate of Mustafi’s dad. How desperate are we? Actually his dog could have barked it and I would have lapped it up.

    I don’t doubt that the club are trying to do everything they can to sign him though.

  49. LB says:

    Has everyone moved to another site and not told me?

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    A memo was sent LB………………….

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    LB: “OK, I have finally worked out what is going on”

    Poetry 🙂

  52. VP of Oz says:

    Hello darkness, my old friend
    I’ve come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains within the sound of silence

  53. LB says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, I just got the memo.

    Bit of a shame really I thought the whole point of the blog was that we can go at each other hammer and tongs and if someone is upset they can have a break during which they work out that it is only a football blog and then after a short period they can carry on as usual.

    Well, that is the way I see it and as everyone knows my toys have come out of the pram on more that one occasion.

    On the other hand, I like the non football related stuff on this site. I came on here this morning to first and foremost to find out about Arsenal related stuff but realising that there wasn’t any my thoughts quickly turned to wondering how the plum wine was getting on.

    How is the plum wine getting on?

  54. LB says:

    VP, this is the calm before the storm. The season starts tomorrow and there will be activity and if we lose the site will be busier than a wasp’s nest with people screaming for Wenger’s head.

    I have found my inner Zen on this subject because I know that he is going to sign another contract and I am happy about that.

  55. chas says:

    The plum wine mash smells wonderfully.
    Today I’ll add the sugar and yeast and get the fermentation process going in earnest.
    Poor Ernest.

  56. Rasp says:

    Hi guys, I’m on a yacht with my brother moored off the Atlantic coast of Spain and this is the first time I’ve had wifi – keep your chins up and the happy chat, don’t worry, we will stuff pool tomorrow 🙂

  57. Eddie says:

    no idea what you lot are on about today

    VP – ?? are you suicidal or something?
    LB – has someone resigned again?
    chas – ha ha ha, I misread the it and thought it was a puke, that was wine and curry the night before. Looks disgusting one way or another.

    Wenger out.

  58. LB says:

    Eddie

    Kelsey has resigned again, hopefully he will be back in due time.

  59. VP of Oz says:

    Eddie, actually the song is not about suicide, i read, “Garfunkel once summed up the song’s meaning as “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.”
    I actually got to thinking how this relates to us fans who are about to come together and emotionally connect with the club we support at the start of a very exciting new season…

  60. Eddie says:

    oh, and why did Kelsey resigned?

    VP – so I wasn’t far off 🙂 loving each other and all that is pretty grim, init?

    at least Rasp made himself clear – he is living a high life and wants us to know and be appropriately jealous. Rasp – I am jealous 🙂

  61. VP of Oz says:

    OK, I need to get out more, maybe I am feeling the trepidation of the ins and outs arguments that are about to start and thus started on this whole emotional communication stuff.
    I was also thinking of Dr Seuss “…until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one… or that one was this one…or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

    Best I go out now

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp: “Hi guys, I’m on a yacht”

    I suppose he might get away with that comment, then again, some may not let him 🙂

  63. Hi guys, I'm on a yacht says:

    Don’t know what you oiks are doing right now, but I’m…….

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    I have a bit of a squeaky bum regarding our defence for tomorrow, but my pecker is well up regarding our midfield power and creativity and who we will play in attack. I am hoping to see Rambo in the hole and Alexis up top again, and the man with two ‘Is’ in his name and Joel on the ‘wings’. Hope to see Akpom as well. CoyGs 💥💥💥

  65. Didit says:

    Hey LB
    Was there a bit of a hoohaa between Wiggins and Cavendish?

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Hope it is not too hot for you cleaning that yacht, Rasper. How many of them do you need to do today…. At least you can use the wifi. 🙃

  67. Didit says:

    Total

    Defence (eyes roll)

    We’ll score a shed load. Remember, Ollie isn’t starting 🙂

    Don’t you think Santi would provide more creativity then Aaron, as I suspect AW will double up on defencey sorts in front of our back four

  68. Didit says:

    he he he

    Hey Rasp, are you wearing one of those pretendy skippers caps?

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky,

    I like Santi a lot but we have a lot of good passers in the team now. Rambo and Alexis are very dynamic and run for each other into the space available.

    My preference for the Pool game is

    Xhaka- Elneny
    Camp – Rambo – Iwobi
    ——— Alexis———

    All five behind Alexis can produce the killer ball, and there are goals in all these players. I expect Wenger to include Santi though, so you will get your way. 😀

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Yachts. S&G, LB’s theories and plum wine, Eddie’s jealousy

    What a fine start to the day

  71. Didit says:

    Total
    Like that line up, and agree with your thinking. Like Joel, love Iwobi.

    Something tells me AW will start Theo up top.

  72. Oooops I get left iin charge for five minutes and forget to put up the new post ………….. back in a minute

  73. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ……………………….

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. I think Rasp is more the man-kini type

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