On the Dotted Line

It’s an important day at The Emirates.

A new contract for Mr Wenger; yet to be confirmed but the media are convinced he will continue for another two years. No details of wages, sporting directors, new coaches or any real change but perhaps that will happen during the summer.

I have a question … why could this not have been announced at Xmas? Why the cloak and dagger?  Do you think the club will explain their delay? No, neither do I, and  it is high time the club took the concerns of the fans into consideration.

There seems to be a lack of understanding at Arsenal that the club does not exist without the fans – WE are the Arsenal, not Kroenke, not Gazidis, not Arsene Wenger or even the players; they all come and go, we don’t.

Am I being naive? Perhaps, but what would happen if the “magnificent” new stadium was half empty every week as fans become frustrated and find other entertainments to spend their wage on.


Are you happy AW has re-signed or would you prefer if he had resigned?

I love Arsene but have two concerns – one is that he will die in the job. He looked terrible in early Spring, clearly not sleeping well and under tremendous stress. The other concern is the obvious – can he turn the current squad into PL Champions? Time will tell.

The other big news is the signing (subject to a medical) of the young Nigerian, Henry Onyekuru.

An important signing. Arsenal have a huge fanbase in Nigeria thanks to King Kanu, and from the Youtube clips, this chap is going to be special. Already doing well in the Belgian League (and before you get all sniffy think Hazard, Lukaku, De Bruyne etc) he is the cut-price Mbappe.

Cheap as chips, his signing will not prevent AFC buying a €80+m player or two in summer – at least I hope not.

Mbappe plays on the other wing or centrally so I have not given up hope.

Rumours abound about Mahrez. After his performances in 2016/17 his price must have plummeted. Could be the type of bargain our manager relishes.

written by Big Raddy

101 Responses to On the Dotted Line

  1. Eddie says:

    sad day at the Emirates 🙂

    thanks for yet another great post Raddy, you are a star.
    I am disappointed Wenger signed a new deal, but not surprised.
    he knows he only has 2 years now, he will go for it and hopefully we shall see 2 or more big trophies in that time

    New Henry looks feisty, lovely, I like that in a player

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    This window is more about those staying than those coming in. We must find a way to keep Sanchez, Özil and Ox. Although some are calling for a CB, I can’t see that happening with the numbers we have in that position. What we do need is improvement from Holding and Chambers, and as many games as possible from Koscielny, Merts, Gabriel, Monreal and Mustafi. At wing back we have brought in Kolasinac nice and early so hopefully he can be a quality addition. If we can keep Ox and Bellerin then we can probably afford to get rid of Jenks/Debuchy and Gibbs (anyone want to keep him?). In midfield we’ve seen a fantastic partnership forming between Xhaka and Ramsey, and if both stay fit then they could really step us up a level next season. Behind those 2 I do worry a little bit as the fitness of Cazorla and Wilshere is a problem, and Elneny and Coquelin weren’t great this year. I’d like to see the bulk of any money spent being on a quality, athletic midfielder. IF Sanchez and Özil stay then our attacking midfield options are sorted, although a Walcott/Mahrez-type swap wouldn’t be a bad thing as Theo just doesn’t fit the new system and it’s probably time to move on. If Perez leaves then I’d also like to see him replaced. Looks like we might be getting this Nigerian kid so maybe that’s the thinking behind that. Up front it’s good to see Welbeck staying fit and getting stronger. You’d expect he’s still got more to come after a long time out, but we are going to need a massive improvement in our finishing to really challenge. If that means an upgrade then so be it, but I suspect Welbs and Giroud will get another year as our main strike force.

    Overall I’m happy just to get the contracts sorted and hopefully the players will follow with their signings once the Wenger deal is done. It would no surprise if his delay is the reason others are not yet in the bag. On the transfers I’d like to see a quality CM, a RAM, and any outgoing players being replaced.

    We beat City and Chelsea twice this year and took 4 points off United. It’s not all doom and gloom but the others will spend and we need to do likewise to have any chance.

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    One last thought, why not give Wenger 3 years? Surely we are going to be back in the same position after next season if it’s only a 2 year deal? The club aren’t going to sack him unless it goes totally tits-up, so compensation isn’t an issue, plus it gives everyone just a little bit of breathing space to plan for the next man in.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Good morning Erik, and thank you very much.

    Massive day indeed. “re-signed or resigned”, nice.

    First thought, you say Henry bargain at £6.8M. That is three times as good as Rob Holding then, so let’s put that in our pipes and get smoking.

    The rest of your post raises so many issues that I don’t have time to go into. One thing for sure, the club cannot possibly start divulging sensitive plans, or any part of them, simply because of pressure from loathsome media of all types.

    Supposing they did sniff the bottoms of the Allegris and Jardims of this world in January. What would they announce? They had been turned down by both, thus announcing to the world other candidates were second choice while undermining the current manager.

    This is very simplistic I know, but the question is, if the board/owner decide the right way forwards is to keep the oh bless fans with rights in the loop, then where exactly to they start, stop, draw the line?

    On the fan thing, the answer is simple. Many will always attend no matter what, others are results driven. Some quit when we get thrashed by Bayern, some quit and leave early when we’re two down, all return when we’re winning.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Micky, I know. Just wanted to start a discussion … however, I would like to know the reasoning behind the delay of the contract signing

    FGG. You should have kept that for a post! Nice work.

  6. fred1266 says:

    Surely Arsene should be considered a fan, and don’t think we should buy Mahrez since I can’t see him playing in the new system

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, I’m with GiE on this. Arsene is the manager for 2 more years, he showed in the FA Cup Final how much he cares. He did fail to get the players motivated for part of last season and that cost us … but the new formation has provided that much needed balance to the side and released our creative players. All of a sudden we look strong, resilient in defence and dangerous in attack.

    I was only saying to peaches the other day that I’d love us to sign a precocious young talented striker if we keep Sanchez … and it looks like we’ve done just that … and good that his name is Henry 🙂

    So far the club is doing everything right post FAC. I’d also like to see us keep Perez as we’re going to be stretched playing in the EL and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Good day all,

    I’ll wait for an official announcement from AFC until I make a comment but I hope the early news is correct.

    My only comment on new signings is that AW has an acute knowledge of worldwide footballers and if he stays then I’m sure that he already knows who he wants to keep, sell and buy.

    Sanchez, Ozil, and Ox are obvious must keep players.

  9. RC78 says:

    Apparently we are looking at the Sporting Director and maybe scout/recruiter of Dortmund as the Head Coach (Tuchel) has left and they may also be seeking other challenges.

    Man City is raiding Monaco – after B.Silva (he won’t be better than Mata at best in the EPM) for 50 Mln, they want Mendy for 45 Mln. Mendy would be ideal in our squad to be honest…

    M’bappe wants to play the World Cup so I think he will stay for 1 year in Monaco. It is the same for Sidibe and I think that the Dembeles (Celtic and Dortmund) will also stay put before the World Cup.

    AW announced two signings – we know that we have already bought 2 (the Nigerian winger and the German-Bosnian left back). However, I expect two “real signings’ for field players (not GK)- no offence to the ones bought. From what I gather, AW is looking at least at 3 positions:

    – A midfield (check Gueye, Seri, Bender);
    – A Winger (probably Mahrez, maybe Arnautovic and would be great to have a look at Meertens);
    – A Striker to replace Lucas

    In any case, I am hoping that the Dortmund Sporting Director comes to AFC (ideally with his scout) and that he supports AFC and challenges AW when needed.

    Now – AW will also have to decide on his 2 preferred team set-up before he moulds the squad (ins and outs) to deliver.

    Whether we play 3-4-2-1 or 4-3-3,
    – we need one more CB and definitely a very good LB;
    – we also need one more DM (bye bye Coquelin please);
    – We also need one more AW/Winger

    The team set-ups selected will mostly inform sales

    I would be happy with Pepe, Mendy, Gueye, Mahrez and Lukaku

    Cech – Holding, Pepe, Kos – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Mendy – Mahrez, Sanchez – Lukaku

    Martinez – Mustafi, BFG, Monreal – Ox, Wilshere/El Neny, Gueye, Kolisinac – Iwobi, Walcott – Wellbeck

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    There has been an announcement by the club.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    I hear the club has made an announcement

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal Football Club and Arsène Wenger have agreed a two-year extension to his contract as manager.

    Announcing the news, our majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”

    ‘This club cherishes the values I love’

    Arsène and chief executive Ivan Gazidis have conducted a full review of our on and off the pitch activities to identify areas for improvement to build a sustained title challenge.

    Arsène, who lifted the FA Cup for a record-breaking seventh time on Saturday, said: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful. We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season.

    “I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”

    In addition to the record £110m investment in players last summer, we have made almost £40 million investment in facilities at our London Colney training centre and the Academy at Hale End in the last two years.

    Ivan said: “There is no complacency anywhere at this club. Our goal is to compete for and win trophies here and in Europe. Everything we do is designed to make that happen and we will be working hard on and off the pitch this summer to improve and make a strong challenge next season. The club has grown beyond recognition in every aspect in recent years and we have the platform to be successful and meet the ambitions we and our fans share.”
    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170531/club-and-wenger-agree-contract-extension#1XT1SbpIdpHZtWy8.99

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Obviously not everyone is going to be happy with this announcement but I will relish the moment. Those in the fan base who are against this decision will need to put their personal feelings aside and put 100% of their being behind the club. Negative headlines have both a distracting and disturbing influence on the team and tend to fuel even more negativity

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s notable that in the announcement there was no mention of any changes in the management structure.

    The only mention is that a review has been conducted.

    “Arsène and chief executive Ivan Gazidis have conducted a full review of our on and off the pitch activities to identify areas for improvement to build a sustained title challenge.”

    So we have to wait and see if that means that some changes are on the cards.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    There has to be changes. How can they think the current team is good enough to win the title?

    Back 3 made a huge difference but how many seasons in a row do we go on a winning streak after March?

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy, Arsene has already stated that the squad is too big and some have to go and that news players will arrive.

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    Piers morgan has said he will no longer tweet about Arsenal. They should give Wenger another 2 years just for that!

  18. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, BR.
    It just is as it is.
    I’m still buzzing from the Cup Final.
    I doubt that feeling is going to leave me all summer, I’m that simple. 🙂

  19. chas says:

  20. Eddie says:

    that cup final was awesome
    Now that the team KNOW they CAN play like champs, will they repeat the performance from time to time, like every game?

    I remember in the past Wenger used to piss me off big time by saying he just tells his players to go out on the pitch and enjoy themselves. . Wtf? Enjoy themselves??!!! Nope. Go and earn your corn, a lot of bloody corn. Give your best, every time or you are on your way to Galatasary.

  21. mickydidit89 says:


    Like the Holding Per chat vid, especially the end where Per tells Rob he leads the way as top listener

    Morning all

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Top listener? Is that another way of saying “deadly boring”?

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    No Erik, it does not. Crikey, you really can be quite awkward at times, can’t you 🙂

    It means, he is learning from a world cup winning master of his art

  24. VP of Oz says:

    WSW vs Arsenal 15th July
    This is a great clip that shows how great the WSW have been for Australian football

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Wow VP. I’m so glad that you posted that video. I’ve never even heard of the league let alone the club and I was simply thrilled to see what can happen to a club when they have Fan Power behind them.

    Thank you so much it’s restored my faith in my own inner feelings about fan support – especially after putting up with the English media and Arsenal fans who have done their level best to deflate our team and to destroy the teams and managers faith.

  26. VP of Oz says:

    I’m planning to do a road trip up to Sydney and post some pics along the way aka fumbunker ant style.
    I’ve just got to learn how to post pics…

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    A view of the Australian countryside & pubs will be a treat to watch VP.

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    It feels like everybody has left to go on their summer holidays.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    ‘Arsene’s DNA is the same as the club’s’

    Having worked side by side over the past eight years, Ivan Gazidis is uniquely placed to offer his assessment of Arsène Wenger.

    After the club and the Frenchman announced that he had extended his contract, our chief executive told us he remains unshakeable in his belief that Wenger is the right man for the job.

    “Arsène is somebody I have worked with for over eight years now, and I know the quality of the man, I know the quality of him as a football person and I know the quality of him as a human being as well,” he told Arsenal Player.

    “Those values that he has, those qualities, are world class in every respect. His DNA is the same DNA as the club’s. He is driven to move forward, he is driven to evolve and he is driven to achieve those objectives of winning for this club and making those fans proud.

    When you look at the world of football, and you think about the great candidates that there are – and there are many great coaching candidates in the world and Arsenal is a club that all of them would want to work for because of the things we represent in football – but when you look around and make that assessment, you don’t find any better candidates than Arsène Wenger.”

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

  30. Zee says:

    Hi Biggy, wherever you are – a jolly decent Post, and thank you for that. 🙂

    Of your two concerns, one has been solved since your Post was published, in that the Henry transfer has turned out to be fake, Fake News, Fake News you have all got it in for me you f*ckers fakers!

    The other real concern you mention is that Arsene is likely to die on the job — what is that? Jealousy or simple disinterest because you are going to get there ahead of the great man? 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    VP. I have just become a WSW supporter. Now I need a t-shirt.

  32. Zee says:

    The whole of the Arsene contract deal has been very badly handled in my opinion because the outcome has never really been in doubt, has it?

    Let’s face it – this nonsense of waiting for the Board to rubber stamp the owner’ agreement with Arsene to extend his contract by two years with more to come, flies in the face of the known situation that the Board will go along with whatever the Boss (Kroenke) wants.

    And what does Kroenke want? Clearly the guy has absolutely no interest in football (soccer) and simply sees a coach/manager who keeps the money rolling in, because he is interested more in the cash cow that is Arsenal, than the fans ‘silly’ interest in winning trophies.

    So, why the delay? Well clearly an unknown number of directors have misgivings about Arsene’s ability to placate the fans by winning the EPL or the CL which the vociferous (big mouthed) ones want.
    His cunning ruse is to feed promises of change via the hapless CEO, Gazidis, with the promise of prioritising the football side of things by attempting to win those trophies. (Were we not trying before?)

    Arsene really should have retired or moved on this summer, because this decision has committed him and a larger than ever number of fans to another 2+ years of acrimony, and none us want to have to keep defending him (on some blogs) in an increasingly toxic atmosphere.

    As you said, Randy, the real purpose of a football team is to represent the fans — except it no longer is. The evolving face of football with its huge transfers and obscene salaries and ever larger sponsorship deals is for the players, their agents, and the club owners — and the fans are just an after thought.

    Just a thought, and that paragon of virtue, GB, will no doubt attempt to talk me out of this rather downbeat assessment, and to be candid, if Terry Titmouse turns up, unexpectedly, and is shocked that I am considering a seance to get rid of his ghosts, I will just tell him Rasp made me do it!! 😀

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

  35. chas says:

  36. chas says:

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    AW probably told the team it was the last time they would see Bouldie in the changing rooms

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m going with the €25M + Mbappe for Giroud story as it’s so much more realistic than the other

    Great cats. Very cool.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas, you’ll know the answer to this.

    Due to work, half term and superb weather, I’ve been under the cosh so still haven’t watched a full re-run of Final.

    Went on AFC site last night and there are a couple of highlight kinda stuff. Worth watching all the same

    Where to for the full 90?

  40. Big Raddy says:

    You just know chas will come good.

    Where can I find the two Spurs 5-2’s?

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh brilliant, thanks.
    I couldn’t find the two halves vids. Are they still there or are you capable of snooping around inside their vaults

    Erik 🙂

    I don’t feel like I’ve anything like enough wallowing

  42. Eddie says:

    mbappe!!! what kind of a name is that?

    na na na na na na na, na na na na Mbapppe – that would never work

  43. Eddie says:

    in case you forgot The Maestro

  44. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, thanks for all your recent posts Raddy.

    Eddie, Santi is indeed a maestro but the example used with Xhaka as a comparison was dreadful and I lost all respect for the tactical credibility of it after that.

  45. GoonerB says:

    Reading back I see poor Zee is feeling a bit downbeat regarding our current situation. Fear not Zee I will be holding regular Camel counselling sessions until all media rumours about who is staying and who we are getting are over, and we have Messi and Aguero wearing the famous red and white.

  46. chas mobile says:

  47. chas mobile says:

  48. Big Raddy says:

    L’Equipe are saying we are in for Lemar a winger from Monaco. May be true.

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    No Erik, it’s Mmmmmmbappe, although they’ve said Non to our opening bid

    Thing is this, and it shows how much I care about tactical bollocks despite being an expert, whoever is our manager makes not a shred of difference to me if he, or she, goes out and buys and obscenely expensive forward

  50. chas mobile says:

    A winger?
    Surely we only need proper goalscorers.

  51. chas mobile says:

    Spooky ☺

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Is 4:35 taken with a mobile telephone or proper grown up camera?

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Not spooky really. Your comment is highly sensible, while mine merely highly predictable

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    While spending the week trying hard not to think about matters Arsenal, and focusing on shit, I have been thinking about matters Arsenal.

    For whatever Stan’s reasoning, and there could be a number of reasons, he decided to stick with Arsene.

    One of the glaring risks is if we get off to a bad start, the angry ones will be very angry indeed. They already are.

    So what better way of buying time is there than buying a very, very expensive forward?

    I honestly do think this will happen.

  55. chas mobile says:

    All photos are with phone. Haven’t got a proper camera I use.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    No. It is Lemar but who knows?

    Mbappe? Yes, please but I bet he is Spain bound

  57. fred1266 says:

    Wouldn’t Aubameng be a better of

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    One house of Cards done. Break. More to go in a minute. So good.

    Blimey, phone cameras are cracking at the close up stuff.

    Thing with Mmmmmbappe is he’s young. Being about 12 yrs old, he has time for the Madrid’s but a few years at Arsenal, why not?
    He’d be a starter.

    Aubemayang? Read PSG were interested, which translates to me as, Cavani is coming to us 🙂

  59. fred1266 says:

    Giroud scored hatrick today

  60. fred1266 says:

    One reason I would be disappointed with a cavani tranfer is that we could not bought him ten years ago

  61. VP of Oz says:

    Ten years ago we had –
    Adebayor, Bendtner, Eduardo, RVP and Walcott


  62. Eddie says:

    I did not soil the bed

    micky – you don’t want Mmbappe, you just want Giroud gone. Some guy told me the other day that his wife has no interest in footy whatsoever, but she knows one footballer – yes, our Ollie

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I am working all morning but could write a para on tonight’s final for publishing early afternoon. Should I?

    The above post is getting on my wick.

  64. chas mobile says:

    As long as you don’t feel morally obliged to keep AA’s head above water, I’d say yes. 😆

  65. chas mobile says:

    Nice steps!

  66. Eddie says:

    raddy – of course you should
    what work do you do exactly?

  67. Eddie says:

    nice steps! it is new rose – Eye of the Tiger
    and another yellow peony. I don’t like big fluffy ones

  68. chas says:

    Big fluffy ones are best

  69. Eddie says:

    no, they are not. Useless for bees and look ott. I killed 5 huge clumps of white Ballerina peonies, horrible. All flowers look best when they are single petals variety. Like philadelphus aureus, I just bought 2 shrubs

  70. chas says:

    Get you with the Latin names

  71. Eddie says:

    sorry chas, you are right – big and fluffy are best. Come back now

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    don’t know urgh

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn. Just like Cinders, late.

  75. Eddie says:

    just 1 philadelphus? I have 3 and Peaches has 4 different varieties 🙂 we are philadelphus mad

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Thought about it – decided against it.

    Instead may I make clear my strong desire for Juventus – the Old Lady – to win tonight. They have lit up the competition with wonderful football.

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Erik

    If you’re around to push buttons for nest 20 mins, I’ll happily do a quickie

  78. mickydidit89 says:


  79. fatgingergooner says:

    We conceded the same amount of goals in 12 second half minutes against Bayern Munich in Germany as Juventus have conceded in 12 champions league matches this season. Hmmm…..

    I fancy them to sneak it tonight.

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    That’s 3 goals, by the way, and they’ve only conceded 1 in the knockout stages!

  81. fatgingergooner says:

    Barcelona gave us £30m for Vermaelen and Song. I remember being a bit annoyed at the time! 😂

    Do they still play!?

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi FGG

    No idea. Haven’t really seen either side this season, although watched all of Juve’s semi

    I read Sir Chezny may be on his way to Juve. Is this Buffon’s last game?

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve just switched on BT Sport to warm up and they’re showing Americas Cup sailing. Blimey those boats are space agey

  84. fred1266 says:

    SONG playing in Russia vermalaen on Roma bench

  85. fred1266 says:

    Anyone think we should get Pickford if ospina goes

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    If any team can keep Real out it’s this Juve team. They have some cracking players at the other end too in Dybala and Higuain. They are much better defensively and that could be the difference. Tough to call though as Ronaldo can easily win it on his own and Isco is in unbelievable form.

    Will be interesting to see if it’s Juve’s 3 at the back against Real’s 4 at the back. Seems the 3 defenders is coming back into fashion recently.

    I don’t think it will be Buffons last but they will certainty be looking to the future now. If the CL finalists are willing to have Szscesny as a replacement for one of the best GK’s ever then you have to wonder why we don’t want him back!

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    I wonder if it’s time to bring Martinez through as back up. Maybe that’s why Szscesny and Ospina are being sold. I really like the look of Martinez and think he could be top class if he progresses. Always difficult to judge GK’s though as it’s hard to give them the games to see if they are really ready.

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    I guess the big problem is that at most clubs GK’s don’t get rotated as Arsenal do with FAC, so you’d rarely get excellent GK’s on the bench

    Arsenal is a good place for a 2nd choice keeper. Is Ospina definitely off?

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey, Black Eyed Peas….cool clothes 🙂

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Micky, I cannot access your post. Can you email it to me?

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    but happy if it’s too late
    watch and enjoy the game my dear
    ill send anyway

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    whoosh and it’s gone

  93. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

  94. fred1266 says:

    Why our FA cup winning keeper always leaves

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