Arsenal: Tight Fisted Scrooges or Profligate Wastrels?

The Emirates Cup was a strange mixture of youthful carefree enjoyment in a deeply satisfying and fun filled first game against Benfica, and an inhibited and surprisingly chaotic lurch into the tippy tappy football of the older more experienced players who did not appear to gell in the second game.

It would be pointless to read too much into the games with many different variables conflating to make it impossible to predict what will be the strongest team that AW will put out for the start of the season.

We meet the Chavs, again, next weekend in the pre-season FA Community Shield, with donations going to the Grenfell Tower support fund, a worthy cause.

The problem is that Chelsea gave a very youthful Arsenal team a bit of a pasting 3 : 0 in an earlier pre-season, so-called friendly, and now they will look to go into the new season on a high by repeating the dose at the weekend and in doing so have the opposite effect on our lads.

So what can we make of all that? Well to start with we had several players making appearances in the Ems Cup who may, or may not, be sold on or let go this summer. Confusingly we also had players who played who are looking to leave us, although the manager has resolutely maintained that every one of them, including the ‘flu stricken one, and his dog, will stay, come what may.

All I can say to that is …… hmmmmm?

The stance by Arsene is at least a gamble, because keeping players who are disillusioned with the club, or who are mendaciously wanting to stick their snouts deeper into the money trough demanding increases to their already sky high salaries is risky because angry employees, and they are only employees, cannot be relied upon when the going gets tough.

An interesting side note is that if we keep Sanchez (boo, hiss) and Özil (brilliant but spasmodic) and the Ox (excellent – in patches) then at a market guesstimate, of £60m + £60m + £3om the club stands to ‘lose’ £150m.

Does that ‘don’t care’ attitude sound like the club, or Wenger? Experience tells me no way, José.

Then there were those playing like Chambers and El Neney and Ospina and Giroud and Le Coq who were heavily rumoured to be playing their last games for the Gunners – although we all know how much bollix is spouted through bloody rumours.
What was the point of playing them – if the rumours were accurate?

To cap that, we had oodles of Tyros, young wannabees playing at the tender ages of 17 to 20, many of whom like Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock and Nketiah and Maitland-Niles were making a good fist of their chances to impress the manager – but frankly for all their skill, energy and enthusiasm have not got Chas’ cats’ chances in hell of playing in anything but cup games next season.

Confused? Me too.

Then there is the other side of the club, or Arsene, (indistinguishable?) we spent what seemed to be weeks negotiating the purchase of La Caz, and that tactic revolved around bidding the lowest figure possible, having it rejected and increasing the bid incrementally.
Look it is a seller’s market – ask them what they want – evaluate it and pay it or leave it.
But no – this is the parsimonious side of deal making and it is ineffectual.

Lesson learned? Nope. We are allegedly trying to buy Lemar a very highly rated young midfielder – and blow me down — the same ‘negotiating’ tactic is being used with the lowest, and most implausible bid offered to start with, which predictably gets refused and is currently creeping up in incremental bands.

These club owners are mostly already billionaires – they are not billionaires because they are stupid. They will say what they want – give it to them or gracefully walk away, and stop getting our hopes up.

There we have it – two sides of the same coin – prepared to blow £150m on a year’s worth of playing time from three reluctant if not recalcitrant ‘stars’ who are not for bending, but then farting around over £5m or £10m for Mr Lemar, a player many of us believe is essential for our chances next season – and that defies logic.

So, what is it? Parsimonious nitwits, or profligate spenders throwing good money after bad?

If the various rumours and leaks are mostly correct in these cases, I would sell SOO for £150m (you work it out) – sell Chambers, Giro etc for £50m (if that is what the powers that be have decided) and reinvest that dead £200m into completing the deal for Lemar and then buying at least two others to stiffen the spine (as we pundits call it 🙂 ) at CB and CF and hey presto we are in good shape – if not I will blame Terry. 😀

Written by Zee

118 Responses to Arsenal: Tight Fisted Scrooges or Profligate Wastrels?

  1. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Zee, three excellent posts in a row, you put us all to shame but I will pick up the pace during the season.

    No time left this morning as I have to go shopping with my daughter, but I’ll be back later.

  2. wally says:

    A column of this nature?

    I feel like i’ve stepped through the door into the twilight zone.

  3. fred1266 says:

    I think u meant for say sell welbeck not Giroud

  4. fred1266 says:

    Sanchez is a guy who love for play football anyone think if we keep him for the season he would just get in with it or would he sulk

  5. fred1266 says:

    Someone didn’t see the Ox play yesterday, his final could have been better but still was impressive

  6. Zee says:

    All good points, Fred, and I agree with you, the Ox did play very well yesterday, and for me it would be a loss if we allowed him to go.

    If it is just money he is looking for to increase his salary, I think that could happen, but he has often said before that he would love to play for Liverpool, and that could be a clincher for him.

    We will see.

  7. LB says:

    Another excellent read. I think you catch both games perfectly in your first paragraph.

    As to Arsenal’s stance on the Lemar transfer, I see things slightly differently. If we were Man City then the “evaluate it, pay it or leave it” policy makes sense because the selling club know that there is not going to be a bidding war because no one can outbid Man City.

    But Arsenal are obviously different, we can be outbid and if you were the owner of Monaco wouldn’t you want to make sure City weren’t interested before you committed to Arsenal?

    Then there is the player angle; Arsenal don’t just test the water with the selling club they test the water to see if there is any real desire in the player to come to THOF.

    I feel certain that this is what happened in the Lacazette deal, last year on realising that Arsenal were serious about signing the player Lyon then waited in the hope that a club with more money would come in and out bid Arsenal — but they didn’t.

    This season Lyon knew that no other club apart from Arsenal were in for Lacazette and there was not point in waiting to see if anyone else was going to come in — they didn’t and we signed him.

    Back to Lemar, Arsenal have successfully planted the seed in his head that he is wanted and it is planted in the hope that he will turn round to the Monaco and say I want to go to Arsenal and if that happens Monaco will wait as long as they can to see if there are any other suitors and if not we will get him.
    He could, of course, just a easily say I want o stay put and the Arsenal would have tested the water as far as they could.

    Chances of this one coming off, in my not so humble view — slim to non existent.

  8. Arthur says:

    I watched the PSG vs Monaco cup game on Saturday evening and Lemar was hopeless. I really hope we do not buy him!

  9. fred1266 says:

    Didn’t know he made those comments, personal wouldn’t be made if he goes since I prefer bellerin but we need depth

  10. fred1266 says:

    Yep we can be adding another hopeless player to the squad already have enough of that

  11. Zee says:

    Hi LB,

    Seriously good points and I accept I wrote the Post with the caveat that my comment only held water if the rumours were/are true.

    I think your negotiating skills are way better than mine. 😀

  12. Zee says:


    That is a really worrying viewpoint.

    I have only seen Lemar play in very few games and he looked OK, and he played well against us too – but for the rest of it I have seen him on You Tube, and they are selective incidents and he certainly looked the part.

    Everyone who speaks about him seems to rate him highly, so when you saw him perhaps he was having a rare poor game.

    Hope you are wrong – but if we do not get him I will say I do not care because Arthur thought he was rubbish. 😀

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Hi. I could say it is good to be back home but that would be disingenuous.

    Missed the Emirates Cup – it seems to be an opportunity for the club to earn another few mill. Not sure it adds anything to our knowledge of the players or the systems AW will develop next season.

    Zee. Thank you for writing the last few posts, they were excellent and I look forward to more.

  14. Zee says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Good to see you back from your latin idyll, and I know you would have loved it!! 😀

  15. chas says:

    Cheers, Zee, another belter

    Maybe we have to be tight over Lemar because of next season’s expected loss on the nobheads who won’t sign new contracts. 🙂

    It seems so weird to me that everyone is concerned about not selling players with 1 year to go. Almost as if they have some personal control over or special budget considerations based on the Club’s finances.

    Personally I’m happy we’re keeping them and hopefully giving ourselves the best possible chance at a credible title challenge this season. (If that’s what we do)

    Are we moving into risk-taking territory?
    Isn’t that what we want rather than perfectly balanced books and constant team rebuilding?

  16. Zee says:


    I enjoyed both games – hungry to see the players, young and old, and have something to chat about.

    Won’t be long until we have your Pre-Match epistles again, and the season will start to make itself felt.

    Can’t wait. 🙂

  17. Zee says:

    That is right, Chas, but the point I was making was that AW has made his decision and his is the only one that counts, but there is an alternative that would be risky — but could pay dividends.

    By that I mean, if we sold the three main stars, and the various players who have received the black dot, we could possibly realise about £200m for the lot of them [I have no idea where the figures come from, candidly] 🙂 — and — this is key — we reinvest that money into other willing players it could pay big dividends, or it could be a disaster [using that word perhaps is not quite right].
    That’s the risk – but life is a risk. and football is part of life.

    Left to my ‘ruthers’ – I’d ruther all three of them signed up and just got on and played their hearts out – and if that means filling their coffers – so be it – that’s the way all sports are going anyway.

    Gee it’s good to chat football, and not read people throwing sticks at the club or the manager, or having to defend them, which sadly has become endemic in the blogging world. 😦

  18. Zee says:


    I should have said that the headline regarding ‘profligate’ v ‘tightfisted’ was my attempt to touch on this seeming dichotomy that whatever the club or Arsene do, they are in deep do-do with some of the fans who are clearly far better at accountancy, or contract negotiations or balancing budgets – obviously???

    Letting players go when they could be sold before their contracts finished raises cries of anger against the club that the money is going to be wasted — on the other hand, being careful, as you imply, is the right way to proceed with the Lemar negotiations also raises cries of protest because Arsene and the club are branded Scrooges — there is no way of winning for them.

    I think we should debag Terry – or upset him by not debagging him. 😀

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks Zee, I didn’t see the first game but was at the Sevilla match.

    Two points …..

    First: we were complete pants in terms of balance and shape. We were slow to get forward (apart from the Ox who was excellent) the midfield didn’t connect the defence to attack and sauntered back when we lost possession, and we had don’tshootitis in front of goal. It was a return to the frustrating Arsenal of old … I had hoped never to see that again after the way we played at the end of last season.

    Secondly: It is a nonsense competition obviously, but Sevilla should be the holders because they won both games and we lost to them. The players must have been embarrassed to accept the trophy.

  20. wally says:

    “Parsimonious nitwits, or profligate spenders throwing good money after bad?”

    They’re both aren’t they. For the last 7-8 years we’ve had the 2nd or 3rd largest payroll. Hardly a sign of penury. We have over 20mm euros tied up in third team regulars that won’t make any meaningful contribution to the teams success and that we can’t sell on because of their ridiculous wages. Profligate indeed.
    That situation in turn leads us to be parsimonious in our buys because we’re focussed on making money, not winning championships.
    The result is we acquire a couple of world class players and surround them with what? And we scratch our heads in wonderment when they tell us they want to leave so they can win championships? And of course no one is responsible for that situation occurring or repeating itself.

    The truth is a lot like poetry isn’t it.

  21. Zee says:

    That is spot on, Rasper, and I was yelling at the screen to ‘Shoot — someone Shoot!!” and it would have been worse watching in the stands.

    How are you? Well, I hope. 😀

  22. Zee says:

    They are fair points, Wally, and many hold the same views, but there are often reasons for the actions taking which we fans do not know.

    Like you, I would love Arsenal to win the Premier League or the Champions League but if we don’t I will be sad, but it will change my support, and I am sure you think the same.

  23. Zee says:

    taking = taken


  24. Zee says:

    Damn – I have to stop taking those tablets! 🙂

    “but it will change my support” —– should be —— “but it will NOT change my support” – sheesh, where’s Terry – he will distract everybody while I go and lie down. 🙂

  25. chas says:

    Here pictured at the Bounds Green Palais, Terry is the sort for whom debagging would definitely be a pleasure.

  26. Zee says:


    You probably know by now that I think LB was brilliant with his Match Reports because he was at the Ems which gave a much fuller impression of the on-field events.

    Any chance of you giving us a post-match report?

    Go on — we would love it. 😀

  27. Zee says:


    😀 😀 😀

  28. chas says:

    I wonder if Alexis really thinks he has more chance of winning the Champions League playing for Man City (aside from this season where he obviously has more chance 🙂 ).

    It’s all bollix in my opinion. He’s just after shed loads of money. Otherwise he’d be wanting to join Barca, Real or Bayern who all have a more realistic chance than the camel shaggers.

  29. Zee says:

    Damn!! Again! — Terry looks delicious in that pic — where did he get that barnet? I might have to dump Big Brenda and change teams!! 😀

  30. chas says:

  31. chas says:

    This is for GN5…..

  32. Big Raddy says:

    I agree – it is just about money and most likely activated by greedy agents who are desperate to pick up the millions on offer from the Oilers.

    55m for Walker??? Madness.

    Arsene’s post-match about running down contracts is both interesting and confusing.

  33. Zee says:

    Stop it, Chas, you are quite brilliant when you get going!! 😀

    However ….. where would we be without a ‘however’? ….. “he’d be wanting to join Barca” should be – “he’d be wanting to RE-join Barca
    the basta*rd”.

    I loves ya, chas. 🙂

  34. chas says:

    I’ve got a bit of a crush on Jordan Nobbs and I’ve no idea why.

  35. Zee says:

    This is just like the old days at AA. 😀

  36. chas says:

    Here’s the Oilers 10 year record in the CL…….

    Ten-year European record (UEFA Champions League unless indicated otherwise)
    2016/17: round of 16
    2015/16: semi-finals
    2014/15: round of 16
    2013/14: round of 16
    2012/13: group stage
    2011/12: UEFA Europa League round of 16 (having transferred from UEFA Champions League group stage)
    2010/11: UEFA Europa League round of 16
    2009/10: did not take part in UEFA club competition
    2008/09: UEFA Cup quarter-finals
    2007/08: did not take part in UEFA club competition

  37. chas says:

    How about 40 million for Matic?

  38. chas says:

    People wouldn’t be commenting but for your posts. 🙂

  39. Zee says:

    It must be the name ‘Jordan’ that attracts you Chas. 😀

  40. chas says:

    Soz about 6:34.
    I meant 10 year record in Europe.

  41. Zee says:


    How about 40m Matics for £1.

    Actually he would add steel to our midfield and I would vote yes – if he was available, but Maureen is no idiot and has him snaffled. 😦

  42. Zee says:

    By the way, Chas, why doesn’t that ne’r- do-well Ant do the decent thing and blog on here too — and I used to like him!! 😀

  43. chas says:

    Ant is a during the football season blogger and even then mainly when he’s on a train. 🙂

    Would you really have Matic for 40m?
    Haven’t his legs gone a bit?
    I mean 28, that’s over the chuffin hill and faraway, isn’t it?

  44. chas says:

    Man U are just Stoke (or West Brom now that Pulis is there) with money?

  45. Zee says:


    I was lying — just to please you – re Matic!! No ex-Chav for me!! 😀

  46. Zee says:

    I have to go — can someone tell GN5 that I was a bit ratty t’other day because I wrote my little Triumph Spitfire off —– in the hospital car park!

    Don’t ask — no one else involved — just me trying to be helpful to another driver, and scratching a couple of panels against a metal barrier. Panels deemed to be more costly to replace than the value of the car – which was a bit shabby, to be honest, but I am still gob smacked.

    Fix it myself? Maybe — but the insurer will officially stamp the documents ‘scrapped’ – or some such. 😦

    Till the morrow, good people.

  47. Zee says:

    I really liked the 6:53 Chas. 😀

  48. Zee says:

    By the way, Chas, thank you for the pics to help the Post – especially the porkie pigs. 🙂

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Just got back in Zee, long day shopping!!

    My car has also seen better days – but so have I………….

    Great post and you have managed, all on your own, to return AA to it’s days of yore when we had superb blogging, I’m sad to have missed out.

    Many thanks.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Is it any surprise that Merinho builds a team of giants? He has no interest in football and his MU/Chav/Intermilan teams are evidence, though he did sign Ozil to RM.

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Apologies, unexpectedly busy, but had to say thank you Zee.

    What a Herculean effort you’ve made. Much appreciated and todays’ superb read brightened my dismal day considerably.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy, the return of the good ship Erik 🙂

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    It takes 7 seconds for food to pass from mouth to stomach. A human hair can hold up to 3kgs. The size of a penis is 3 times the length of the thumb. The femur is as hard as concrete. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s. Women blink 2 times as much as men. We use 300 muscles just to keep our balance when we stand. A woman has read the entire text. A man is still looking at his thumb.

  54. oz gunner says:


    Thumb? I had my trousers down measuring.


    Another enjoyable read. I would signup Ox in a heartbeat but if the others don’t stick around I’d kick them out the door to the highest bidder. The Ox situation is tough and I get Arsenal’s reluctance to offer more. After all, he been in the medical room for half of his Arsenal career. But of course the players hold all the power and a players career is short so he wants to maximise his earnings while he came.

    Oz I’ll is a tough one. I was convinced he’d re-sign but it is becoming squeaky bum time now.

    Sanchez can piss off

    Giroud can stay. He’s durable, loves the club and gets the job done. I’d sell welbeck instead. Welbeck is injury prone and hasn’t improved since his time at United. Better suited at mid table team. I’d prefer to play Perez over him.

    Reminds me of the nasri and described pre-seasons all over again.

  55. fred1266 says:

    6:53 is hilarious

  56. fred1266 says:

    Finally some agrees with me welbeck needs to go, u see how he missed the shot yesterday thank goodness laca was able to put it away

    How he gets game in front Perez is unbelievable

  57. Top stuff RedZee

    I am than happy to take the blame. Like Archimedes bath time duck I discovered very early on that feigning guilt for my dads constant cheating meant delightful rewards.

    At about 10 I would sob to my mum and aunts that my old mans loose trouser belt was, because of my fear of heights and detergent, I would never follow his footsteps as a window cleaner. This disappointment led him to seek solace with other women and meant that when I now look out of my windows everything looks as grainy as the last time Totnumb won the league.

    The rewards were sweets and ” Little Terry can do no wrong” attitude, which set in motion my inability to form healthy relationships with people without admitting to a crime I did not commit and then discussing the benefits of s squeegee and sturdy bucket.

    As a young man I continued my charade. The only time I ever managed to sleep with women was when I claimed full responsibility for my old mans exploits whilst making the girls car windscreen look transperant.

    So yes, if it all goes wrong it’s my fault.

    Just on Sanchez, I feel sorry for the guy. He’s posts a heartbreaking picture of him and his dog, obviously suffering from a virulent case of man and dog flu, ( maybe his dad liked to get his leg over?) yet he is accused of putting it on?

    Now I hear “reports” that before he arrives back in London he is stopping off In Paris? Obviously this is to recharge his batteries but yet some people are putting out a scandalous rumour he may be talking to PSG?

    For a number of reasons this can’t be right. Firstly, he is flying out with his lawyer so obviously he’s taking in a lecture on the merits of the French legal system, and secondly, he will never get laid, no one gives a toss about tales of infedility, over there that’s normal and clean windows are frowned on.

  58. Jnyc says:

    Really good post Zee, plenty to think about.
    I’m just watching the 2nd half of benfica match now. Giroud put on a show, great touches, combining, assists, perfect lay offs to teammates to score, pretty goal on his own. Though i think he’ll be unhappy as plan b striker, i want to keep him as that.

    On Zeereds other points, I’m on record as saying we’d be fools to not look for a santi type cm., I like what little i see of Seri, but have a feeling that we’re not really in for him.

    To sum it up, I think this is one of those summers where Arsene tells big clubs like psg, Madrid, let us know if any of x,y, z become available after you make your purchaes. A bit like how we got Ozil from Bale purchase. That’s cool, except we forgot to tie down our OWN stars. The mis-management is enough to make me scream.

  59. chas mobile says:

  60. chas says:

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    7.25. Is the building real or someone playing with mirrors? Too early in the morning to say.

    Good to see Terry remains in fine form ahead of the season 😀

  62. Zee says:

    It’s been so hot here while you were away, Raddy, and loads of buildings have melted! 😀

  63. Zee says:

    Terry, baby,

    Your 1:03 a.m. was so sad, and yet so uplifting because that must have been where you learned how to offer a successful ‘Window Clean and Shag’ service.

    And now you have grown up you have advanced to ‘Window Clean, Shag and Tax’ service.

    You should be held up as a model for the aspiring young! 😀

  64. chas mobile says:

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    Hi Zee, some others may have raised this but I haven’t had time to read all comments.

    My take from weekend was this, players that played are likely to be in the squad for the foreseeable future those that didn’t not (unless injured/latexreturning).

    With some young homegrown talent available to make up squad numbers we can allow some experience homegrown to leave (Gibbs is one in that equation likely to be leaving however much that disappoints me).

    I think we will buy before selling as we have been bitten before by a late rush to use money from Nasri, Cesc etc.

    We have the cash to do that, we also have the negotiation point of no CL money so if players want to come to us and their club doesn’t have any other buyers they are also in the same predicament as us, so sooner or later have to choose unhappy employee or less money.

  66. chas mobile says:

  67. chas mobile says:

  68. Zee says:

    Hi ya, GIE 🙂

    A cracking comment and spot on.

    I am puzzled by the demise of Gibbs and do not know quite what has happened that he seems surplus to requirements.

    I wonder if it is his fairly frequent injury problems — but when he is fit he seems to be a very good wing back and the ‘3 at the back’ cries out for that style of play.

  69. chas says:

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Good news Sanchez is back. I guess no-one would pay his wage demands.

  71. Zee says:

    That’s exactly how I looked when I had ‘flu.

    Not the look of a man who had sorted out his lucrative future with PSG, then?

  72. chas says:

    Tony Adams appearances for Arsenal started when the Premier League started – yeah right.
    Nice clip mind. 🙂

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Zee. Really impressed by those melting buildings. Who could have thought that the effects of global warming would be so interesting

  74. LB says:

    Man Flu is a very serious condition and should never be made light of………….. 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Play with me

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Really really bored

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s be clear
    Tomorrow I fly off on holiday from Bristol with me family.
    Right now I’m stuck in Belfast waiting for a delayed flight to ……. Bristol
    I’ll probably get home at 6am
    At 7am we set off for …….. Bristol
    That’s why I’m bored

  78. Dear dear dear you lead an exciting life 😁 Have a great holiday, where are you all heading to? Safe journey if you’ve already gone.

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oh dear it seems Silent Stan has just lost the support of Jez Corbyn, and to be honest I’m not too impressed with him either.

    Kind of think media reaction has drawn publicity for his new TV channel, and I’m going to leave it up to anyone here to google it to find out.

    By being owner of us and this TVchannel it brings the clubs good name into an arena that it really shouldn’t be mentioned in, but already has and will continue to if the debate grows.

  80. chas says:

  81. chas says:

  82. chas says:

  83. chas says:

  84. chas says:

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Some fine political comment this morning. Totally agree about the bankers, first up against the wall come the revolution.

    I note one can buy a George Graham for 5k. Seems a good deal

  86. chas says:

  87. chas says:

  88. Gööner In Exile says:

    £198m for Neymar, how much to agent?

    Unsustainable, and can’t possibly pay for itself, when wages added.

    It’s numbers like that which makes me realise (if I hadn’t already) that there is absolutely zero point worrying about transfers until announced by the club.

  89. Zee says:

    There are rumours that the Spanish FA are trying to stop Neymar’s transfer on the grounds of breach of FFP rules.

    Don’t know how true that is but it could get interesting if so.

  90. Zee says:

    I agree about the bankers, altho shooting them seems a little OTT — but if they added in Danish Tour Guides then that might be a clincher! 😀

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Zee. I agree. Shoot all the Danish tour guides and leave the English Danish Tour Guides and I am cushtie

    Hope Micky managed to get his plane on time

  92. Zee says:

    One or two on AA queried why Arsenal have acted the way they have regarding Lucas Perez, so I thought I would stick this interview with AW explaining what happened.

    “A fractious summer for Arsenal and Lucas Perez is nearly over.”

    In a meeting on Friday Arsene Wenger apologised to Lucas for his decision to hand the No.9 shirt to Alexandre Lacazette without telling its incumbent — the “final straw” as the striker termed it in a fiery showdown earlier in the month with Arsenal’s chief negotiator Dick Law.

    It is unlikely to repair a relationship that had already become fractured over a disappointing debut season at the Emirates, where 22 appearances across all competitions was not enough for a player who has designs on making Spain’s World Cup squad.

    Despite his comments on Sunday insisting that he wants to keep the striker, Standard Sport understands that it was at that meeting Wenger told Lucas he could go if Arsenal receive £13.4m (€15m).

    Lucas might contend that Wenger never gave him the chance to build on his most promising displays. His reward for a hat-trick in the Champions League win at Basel was a place on the substitutes bench at West Ham in the following game.

    The same was also true when he inspired the cavalry charge to turn a 3-0 deficit at Bournemouth into a point. After that game Lucas only managed a further 58 minutes of Premier League football.

    Perhaps, though, Lucas’ purpose has been served at Arsenal. Wenger has been left with no complaints over the Spaniard’s performances and he might depart the Emirates with a sense of vindication having won over a manager who declined to sign him earlier in the summer of 2016.

    He’s a top quality striker but I couldn’t give him the games he wants and deserves, I confess that. I feel sorry for him on that front,” Wenger said in May.

    Arguably that should not come as a surprise to anyone. Lucas arrived in August because Arsenal were once more desperately short on numbers in attack.

    Danny Welbeck was some way short of recovering from a second major knee surgery and at the time Wenger had his doubts over whether the former Manchester United striker would ever play again.

    Olivier Giroud’s big toe was giving him plenty of problems. Theo Walcott had ditched his dreams of a central role. Arsenal had a repurposed Alexis Sanchez and not much else.

    Lacazette’s arrival, coupled with Welbeck’s return to full fitness, has left Arsenal top heavy. There simply won’t be the opportunities for Lucas.

    Arsenal needed an impact arrival. Lucas by and large proved to be that.

    Lucas will not be short of takers. Deportivo have lodged a £9m bid, though their ability to match Arsenal’s asking price remains in doubt. Fenerbahce and Sevilla are also contenders.

    Suitors in the Premier League could also emerge, though it is understood that rumours of interest from Crystal Palace are currently wide of the mark.

    Newcastle may prove to be the best fit for Lucas if his dream return to Coruna cannot be manufactured. They are in need of a striker and the 28-year-old’s ability to lead the line or play off a target man makes him a promising fit for Rafa Benitez’s squad.

    Questions have been asked over whether Newcastle can pay what Arsenal want – and the Magpies are believed to prefer a loan move – but in a summer of inflated fees Lucas could well prove to be a shrewd investment.

    So there we have it from the horse’s mouth — and a decent apology and explanation from Wenger.

    Personally, I feel sorry for Lucas, and if it had been me I would have been furious.

  93. Zee says:

    Micky’s possible plight should not concern you Raddy, in emergency he has been known to carefully unwrap his broomstick from his left trouser leg (I have it on authority from Terry he dresses to the left) and will swoop off to ???????? (Butlins??) and blow atlas £100 on family treats over the two weeks he and they are there. 😀

  94. Zee says:

    atlas = at least —
    — altho ‘and blow atlas’ may or may not have been right too! 🙂

  95. Big Raddy says:

    He was good Seamo. So was Chuck.

    Don’t see the connection. Nor to Atlas.

  96. chas says:

    No connection whatsoever – just white noise to fill the space.

  97. chas says:

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Life on Earth 😀

  99. Zee says:

    Chas, Raddy,

    As we seem to have run out of time with this Post, let me know, and I will whizz up a quick replacement.

  100. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, been a tad busy but thanks for 3 great posts Zee. Will comment more later when I can. It seems a new post may be forthwith so will come back after that.

  101. chas says:

    Please, Zee.

  102. Zee says:


    The Post is in the usual place on the previous Post.

    Been there for a while – sorry.

  103. chas says:


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