Lacazette’s our best player … Xhaka only just scrapes in … but Ozil is gone

First let me start by making it clear that what follows is just my subjective view of the qualities that are needed to make a top footballer … you may well disagree.

This is a pictorial representation of how I would define those qualities.

Let’s look at these criteria in order of importance …

Attitude … a player can have all the skill in the world, but if he isn’t fully committed to the team and prepared to ‘leave it all on the pitch’, then that counts for nothing. I give you Paul Pogba. An unhappy player can drag the whole dressing room down.

Technical Ability … every football fan’s favourite attribute in a player, and the one that adds the most value if the player possesses the other qualities.

Football Brain … a much maligned term. Ability in terms of technique is not necessarily connected with making the right decisions on the pitch. Great players have the vision to see things others don’t. I’m a fan of Iwobi. He has impressive technique, but all too often his final ball is the wrong one = his football brain needs tuning! If he can improve in that department we will have a top quality player. Santi Cazorla was an example of a midfield Maestro with an excellent football brain, if only we could find another player of his quality.

Strength and Pace … these are important attributes in the modern high intensity EPL. Pace is required at the back as well through to the front now, especially if we play a high press with a high defensive line.

Age and Injuries … players inevitably go into physical decline in their early thirties. A player in his late teens would be regarded as an asset as they have yet to gain experience and their transfer value is more likely to go up than down. Players who have a succession of injuries, like Welbeck, Wilshere etc may be loved by the fans, but they can’t contribute unless they’re on the pitch. Can anyone think of a player who has had a constant string of injuries (excluding one off injuries like breaks and ACL problems) who has ever subsequently gone injury free for the rest of their career?

Experience … most would agree that a blend of experience and youth is the right balance. But not all older players have good attitude and therefore their example to the upcoming players is not helpful to the team. The experienced players need to be the leaders on the pitch, the ones who steady the ship if things begin to go wrong.

It seemed only logical to apply these criteria to our current squad members to see how their total contribution to the team could be assessed.

The table below ranks the players based on the criteria I have described. The rating is on a scale from 0.1 to 1.0 for each category, with a maximum total score of 6. You may think the scores are all too high, but they are relevant to one another and so it serves as a comparison.

There is no mention of wages as that is a matter between the club and the player and should not be relevant to performance on the pitch. If a player is committed, it doesn’t matter how much he’s paid.

I would suggest that a cut-off point of 4.5 and above determines whether a player is worth keeping. Below 4.5 and they could be sold to provide funds for players that would score higher in the ratings.

I’ve given you loads to disagree with … as stated at the start, this is all just my opinion … tell me why I’m wrong ….



77 Responses to Lacazette’s our best player … Xhaka only just scrapes in … but Ozil is gone

  1. RA says:

    Morning, Rasper, 😁

    You say you have given us loads to disagree with — actually you have given us loads to agree with.

    I need more time to digest the table, but the attributes you describe are spot on.

    Sue might add : Toned body, plenty of muscle and good looking!! 🤪

  2. LBG says:

    Much to consider from this excellent post.
    Agree totally with your reverse pyramid parameters.
    Scoring is of course personal opinion. I would, surprise surprise put Xhaka and I’m afraid Kola below the cut off line whatever it is, for specifically the FOOTBALL BRAIN requirement or in their case lack of it. Otherwise spot on, and that is even conceding on the Ozil dilemma, so much a source of debate last season.
    A praiseworthy post.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks RA and LBG. I guess the pyramid is upside down if you’re putting the most important criterion top of the pile. The idea was that if you take away the bottom ball, everything else falls down.

    When it came to the scoring, I decided to just mark it as I felt instinctively and then see what the result was …. and there were a few surprises for me. Xhaka is definitely a marmite player. If we had the resources of the ‘generously funded’ sides, he’d be a bench player in the squad.

    Incidently, if I did the same scoring for The Invincibles side, they’d all score 5 plus. The landscape of the EPL has changed and we must accept that our business model can’t compete financially.

  4. RA says:


    I took ‘technical ability’ to cover everything a quality professional player would need to have in his specilist position — centre forward = goalscorer; CB = strong in the tackle – good in the area etc, etc.

    You were careful to say that the process you went through to rank the players was your personal opinion and therefore subjective.
    Well said — others are entitled to their opinions too – some will agree, others many not — that is all good.

    I am rather hoping that GB, RC, AK, to name but a few, who have more knowledge about youth team players, who stand a good chance of being included in the first team, and rank them in a secondary table — that might have a significant impact on the rankings of the 1st team squad players above, when merged together, and those on, or near, the cut could find they have slipped down further, or may be confirmed as being above the line.

    We could then end up with a fans’ view of who should be in the squad next season, other than any new players that might come in.

    Really liked the Post, and it made me think about the current players attributes and therefore their individual rankings — and like you, I used my opinion about the Invincible players as my yardstick.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh dear Rasp. It does not take a genius in statistical analysis to spot the one and only low number….. for Ozil’s ‘attitude’. Why didn’t you just write a post to have a go at him instead? Guendouzi’s technical ability as an attacking mid is promising but as a defensive mid is poor, so surely an 0.6 would be more realistic at this stage in his career.. Give Ozil a higher score by at least 0.2 for attitude and it is keep Mesut and sell Guendouzi.

    Of course it is your post and you acknowledge that the scores are subjective, but I had to respond as I cannot stand the bloody Ozil bashing.

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, yes technical ability, focused on that particular players’ attributes to play in their given position. I could have had many other sub categories … but then it would have all got a bit Lionel 🙂

    The strength and Pace criterion is an interesting one. I could have added stamina to that. Ramsey has great stamina, not great pace, but altogether his score in that department would have been high as he is a true box to box midfielder and works very hard defensively as well as in attack.

  7. RC78 says:

    Hi Rasp and all – thanks for this great post.

    While I may disagree here and there on the ratings, I fully agree with the list of players to be moved on except that I would give Mikhy 0.2 points more (0.1 for brains and o.1 for experience) so he would be at 4.5 – which is right on the edge and I also feel like we could keep or sell him – it is a tight one. I d also give Ozil a bit more on attitude so he d be 4.6.

    As for Xhaka – I d sell him in a heartbeat although I recognize that he has some undeniable qualities. I think he d do well in Italy and we should try to sell him to a club like Lazio, Roma, Inter, Milan or Fiorentina.

    These 3 the three players that are on the edge for me and I wouldn’t be upset if Koscielny stayed but we can also let go of him. It s OK.

    Is there anyone who can do a rating on our top young prospects (Iliev, Bielik, Willock, ESR, Saka, Nketiah)?

    If we get rid of the unwanted players, we need to replace them too…

    As for our business model, seems that Spurs have a better one solely based on 1 aspect – they are able to make some cash on players sales while we are unable to. Ramsey and Sanchez could have been sold for 140 Mln EUR and we got…0 + Mikhy. Ox was also sold on the cheap and what about Giroud or Wellbeck…

    We re doing well on the other aspects such as ticketing, marketing…although we missed out on CL football again.

    If we sell Ospina, Martinez, Jenkinson, El Neny, Asano for a combined 20 Mln then we did OK. We then have to sell Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka and Ozil for 65 at least…and again, that s just OK.

    Spurs may sell Eriksen for 50 so that tells you

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi Total.

    I am not as obsessed with Ozil as many of you are. For me he’s a squad player who can be very effective in certain games … the games where we can easily control play.

    On the question of his attitude … did you see the slow sulking walk from the pitch when he was subbed in the EL final? We were 3 nil down at the time and desperately needed a goal to get us back in the game. Any team player would have run off to give a fresh pair of legs the chance to influence the game. As it happens, Iwobi came on and immediately injected some energy into our attack and he scored a very good goal. His level of commitment was way higher than Ozil’s.

    Ozil has consistently failed to put in the performance and demonstrate the leadership that we have a right to expect from a world class talent. He never shines in the big games where defending is as important as attacking..

    This is what Martin Keown thinks …

  9. Rasp says:

    I am in agreement with the premise that if Ozil was surrounded by high quality world class players, his contribution in other areas would not be crucial and he could shine.

    Ozil is our best player technically, a different class. We have a budget of £40m, how on earth are we going to build a squad around him to the level of man city or Barca. All we can do is try to follow Leicester’s example in terms of team ethic … to scout as much emerging talent as possible … and maybe follow Southampton’s example in terms of nurturing young talent and using the funds from sales to pay for better players in the future.

  10. Sue says:

    Haha brilliant RA.. almost as good as your “the thigh’s the limit” comment – you surely are a funny bugger sometimes 👍😂

    I agree with 5 of those players to be sold (Kos, Mon, Eln, Mkhi, Must) I think Xhaka should be on that list (sorry all Xhaka fans – all 2 of them!)
    And I don’t want to sell Mesut…..

  11. Rasp says:

    I reckon you’re OK there Sue, I don’t think any other team will want to match Mesut’s wages unless we care to subsidise them for the remainder of his contract.

  12. Sue says:

    That is a major stumbling block, Rasp! That obscene amount of money.. we should never have given him that much.. no one is worth crazy money like that, but hey what do I know, that seems to be the going rate these days 🙄
    How the hell does he get by on that much each week?!!! 😜

  13. Rasp says:

    😂 Sue, just so. I think it is clear now that the mistake was made. I don’t blame Wenger, Gazidis was effectively his boss, and there would’ve been others involved in that decision I’m sure. Let’s hope the new team running the club have a bit more savvy and not only do we not overpay players, but we move them on before the last year of their contracts if they won’t sign an extension. We have to try to avoid making losses like those on Ramsey and Sanchez.

  14. Brilliant Rasp

    Lacazette was definitely my best player last season. Worked incredibly hard for the team, linked up well with other players and scored goals!!!!! What’s not to love.

    The team cannot all be about Ozil …………. although I love what he brings when he brings it, as others have pointed out, we don’t have the money to surround him with the top top players that he wants to play with. If he can’t influence the game on his own then he’s not the genius that he thinks he is.

  15. LB says:

    I loved you Mesut but you broke my heart.

  16. allezkev says:

    Very good post Rasp, thanks for your work…
    Like you, I was a big fan of Santiago, even given his age and health issues I think he could contribute more to our team now than some of the current incumbents in our squad.

    Red, I’m not sure that anyone can really do a Rasp type graph on our young guns, we just haven’t seen enough of them and you can’t judge a player on some cameo at the end of a game.
    But you can pick up hints on a player even if it’s from a brief run out, for example, Willock in his few outings has shown that Ramseyesque ability to arrive in the box at just the right time to apply the finishing touch to an attack, that’s a definite plus.

  17. Rasp says:

    That’s a great headline LB, and it reflects how I feel too …… would you perhaps care to flesh it out so I can steal it for a post?

  18. Rasp says:

    Hi allezkev. I agree about Willock. His quality surprised me when he came on for Ozil in the EL final. He could have scored, but continually looked an attacking threat. In some ways it was easy for him to play with abandon, at 3 nil down the only thing to do was go all out attack.

    I hope all these youngsters get a run out in the preseason games, and have a chance to stake their place. What’s the worst that can happen … we’re in the Europa league again for the 20/21 season?

  19. LB @ 12.57 …………. with you on that 😦

  20. When I think about Mesut last season, I think about that Monday night game against Leicester and the thrill that that game gave me …………. and still gives me because I have it on my sky planner 😉

    It doesn’t beat Suits but I love watching it 😆

  21. Sue says:

    Oh LB…. 😢

  22. RA says:

    I am going to propose that Sue and the Rasp become advisors to the Arsenal management team responsible for player contracts and transfers. Those guys need help.

    In the grand scheme of things, the salary paid to Ozil was a brilliant bit of business by his agent. If things had gone differently, none of us would have cared how much he was paid, as he certainly had the talent to be something special.

    Whatever the reason — that idyllic outcome has not happened, and as a result many fans link his salary to his performances which is understandable but wrong.

    If there is blame attached to paying him such a huge salary, it does not rest with Mesut, but to Gazidis for agreeing such a contract.

    I have still got hopes that the new season will bring with it a new attitude by both the player and the manager, and if they cannot adapt to each other the outcome will not be good for anyone.

  23. Sue says:

    Rasp @11.24… spot on! 👍

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp

    It is a myth that Mesut can only strut his stuff when he is playing with only quality players. He did really well when he came to Arsenal and we were hardly harbouring world-class footballers… The other myth that seemed to be based on our disappointing results is that we do not have quality players at Arsenal at the moment.

    The one person who is breaking our hearts (LB) is Unai Emery, but most of you here need another season for him to complete that process. Let’s hope that Ozil, Xhaka and co will not have left the HoF for places where they are appreciated by all for, in the meantime.

  25. RA says:

    Kev, @ 1:05

    You are, of course, correct.

    I am very taken by Rasper’s graph and the accompanying rankings based on it.

    Many of us, including me, want to encourage youth development and progress into the first team squad, partly because when they have come on for an occasional cameo performance for a few minutes near the end games they have looked good, but as you say, how many of us have not seen enough of them to make a case for more than one or possibly two, to make the progress we are hoping for — and an attempt to do a similar graphic on them might have highlighted the fact, even with limited data, that we are talking in hope and expectation rather then being pragmatic.

    As regards Mesut, he has given me some of my most wonderful moments in football, as Peaches mentions above, but sadly, for whatever reason, they have become few and far between.

    That’s a pity.

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Total, I accept that ‘in your opinion’ it is a myth. It is not an opinion I share … or that many others share. The clip of the Leicester game peaches put up shows Ozil at his very best.

    In that game he got half his assists for the season and 20% of his goals. He was far from consistent and put in a string of mediocre performances.

    Unai is not breaking my heart. For a large part of last season he gave me hope and a new enthusiasm that I had lost in the last few seasons. He has been saddled with some difficult historical problems and now has to operate with a very limited budget. Like Arsene, he just gets on with it without complaining.

  27. jjgsol says:

    Because so many people talk about Ozil’s contract and its size in such definite terms, I must assume that all these people actually know what the terms of the contract are.

    However, I believe that that assumption is incorrect, as none of them know what the terms of the contract are and yet they continuously use it as a stick to beat him, Gazides and AW.

    Have there not been statistics which show that Ozil is active during games as much or even more than most of his colleagues?

    It seems to me that this is very much a case of, if one repeats a lie enough times, everyone will believe it.

    We are all amateurs watching games from the side or a screen. We have no real idea as to what the full picture is or how to interpret it.

  28. RA says:


    It has been brilliant having you back in action on AA, and your Post today has been creatively different, and ‘meaty’.

    I take all due credit for this turn of events as you clearly took note of my plea for you to give the coy Koi Carp the fin and spend a little time with us! 🤪

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders … thanks 🙂 …. but again, it’s not an opinion shared by all 🙂 🙂

  30. RA says:


    As I understand it, you are castigating people on AA for beating Ozil with a stick, when they do not know what the terms of Mesut’s contract is — but you think they are incorrect, even though you do not know what the contract terms are either — unless you are claiming you do.

    You must surely understand how fatuous that statement is?

  31. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rasp, and before I talk footy can I say that I am pleased you will be the adviser when RA proposes to Sue.

    Some fine posts recently. Sorry I missed a couple of good uns.

    This is an interesting concept you have come up with Rasp and not a bad way of trying to gauge a cut off point.

    There will be some subjective differences between us all in certain scoring categories of course. Xhaka probably gets slightly less (0.1) in both technical ability and strength and pace for me and I wouldn’t have been quite so harsh on Ozil with attitude but still find it falls short of others.

    His demeanor and contribution (or arguably lack of) maybe needs to be looked at more because I feel it is not quite so black and white and there will be grey areas. That is for another day which may tie in with another idea I have for a post. Will try and get it to you ASAP.

    Some of the categories you can give players lee-way in even if it drops them below the cut off point. For instance a low experience score taking the overall score down below cut off point wouldn’t really be an indication to bin a 16-17 year old prospect.

    Similarly someone just above the cut off point could still be relevant to leave us if we are top heavy in certain positions but deficient in others.

  32. RA says:

    Hi ya, Gooner B, 🤪

    As usual you have brought up some really good nuances in regard to interpreting the value scores for the rankings.
    I had not given any thought to how matters would be affected if we had say 10 CFs all scoring 6s — (rankings, that is not goals — I know you knew I meant that your camel told me you get confused sometimes) 🤪 — we would need a new graph in circumstances like that to find out who should be sold/retained and what fun that would be to discuss.

    Sue will kill you, by the way!! 😀

  33. LBG says:

    Jigsol and Total
    As a staunch supporter of Mesut for a long time ( even after his new contract, and to the point of falling out with Rasp) got to say I now agree with his current assessment. I quoted his kms per game and ” unnoticed” offerings in games, but feel that case is no longer justifiable, particularly in the second half of last season. I think at least AW loved him, Dick doesn’t and worse, doesn’t understand him!!

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    LBG, Ozil is a javelin used as a spade by Emery, and some may say he should adjust to that and others believe that our most talented player since the days of Bergkamp and Fabregas is being wasted by the Spaniard. He did not have a good season and he is partly to be blamed for it, but a genius does not adjust to the will of somebody who doesn’t understand him. It is all going to end up in tears, big fat tears with an impact on the club for years to come.

  35. Sue says:

    So Wilf is keen on a move to Arsenal…omg I’d snap him up tomorrow, but with the Mancs just settling on 50m for Wan Bissaka, Palace won’t let him go as well, will they?! Oh this is torturous…. (don’t say a word, RA 😂)
    Nigeria have just kicked off against Guinea, and Iwobi is playing! I wonder if he’ll score… hmm not gonna bet my house on it (now I’ve said that, I bet he’ll get a brace 😂😂)

  36. Sue says:

    GB.. 😂👍

  37. LBG says:

    So your summation is Mesut doesn’t have to adjust because he is a genius, even if Dick doesn’t understand how to use him effectively and the partnership is going nowhere. Seems a bit pathetic to me, and I’m pretty sure Dick will be given more time to correct the ship. If Mesut is prepared to sit out his contract without guilt, as you say, the Club will continue to be the main sufferers.

  38. GoonerB says:

    RA, Sue seems happy 🙂 That’s that sorted then, I’ll go look out my 1980’s Tux from the loft, and Peaches can get herself a hat 🙂

    TA, I’ll be honest and say that my choice for us was Arteta, because I felt he ticked many boxes, but bowed to the idea that UE had more experience than him which could be important at the higher end of the EPL. I know you are not keen on Emery TA, and I don’t know if he be the right one for us or not, but do feel he needs more time to show what he has or not. At least this season.

    Conversely I know you were a staunch AW fan TA till the end and, if I am not mistaken, still championed him as being the right man for us. From my end I am an Arsene fan, that recognises him as our greatest ever manager, but felt that his powers had dwindled significantly and that we were slipping backwards under him in his latter seasons.

    On the subject of Ozil and UE having no idea what to do with him, I would ask one pertinent question; did Arsene know what to do with him?

    Arsene may have loved him more but can we really say that he got the best out of Ozil consistently. Did he manage to build a team around this sublime talent? I would say no he didn’t which to me kind of makes the criticism of Emery, and him not getting the best out of Ozil somewhat unfair.

    Neither manager has managed to harness Ozil’s full ability which either means Ozil is not suited to the EPL, or that neither Emery or Wenger (in the last 5 or 6 years) have been the right manager for us. I think to exclusively highlight it as an Emery problem that has just started is slightly off the mark. Just my opinion though, and I will make the reasons why I feel this more clear as and when I get a chance to put it into a post.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    the summation is, LBG, not to make Mesut adjust as it is a waste, absolute waste of very precious genius. Your Dick is wasting our talents left, right and centre.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi G-B 🙂

    For the record, I believed it was time for Arsene to go for his last two seasons and was pro-Emery and against Arteta. I would still not want Arteta to replace Emery, but that isn’t relevant as yet. I respect the idea of giving Emery longer, but I have seen nothing in terms of vision, style of football, development of our players, etc to suggest he has the talent to be our man. in fact, I am very worried that he will do damage for years to come as we are at a crossroads nw. If I am proven wrong, I will come out and say it here; and I hope I am wrong.

    For sure, Arsene got the best out of Mesut; and what I player he has been for us. I don’t really understand why you would doubt this. We need a manager who can compete tactically/football vision wise with the likes of Klopp, Guardiola and the Argentinian and this would start with sorting the balance and dominance in midfield out. Wenger did not fix this anymore and the team (and Ozil) suffered. Emery has not got a clue how to fix it and we have actually got worse last season (only to be saved a bit by our enormous firepower up-front).

  41. LBG says:

    Obviously strongly held beliefs. He is for the time being, OUR Dick! An interesting, if somewhat embarrassing situation.
    Presume your solution is get rid of Manager, but if that doesn’t happen in the near future, is all lost for you?

  42. LBG says:

    Who is out there to compete tactically and football vision wise with Pep, Klopp and Poch, are the available and affordable and why are they still out there?

  43. Rasp says:

    The managers have different philosophies and different styles. UE just tops it over AW this season compared to last in terms of league points, league position and progression in the EL and this in a season where City and pool both improved their squads. If you wish to claim that AW got more out of Ozil, you could just as easily say that UE got more out of Lacazette and Auba … but in both cases that would be an oversimplification.

  44. GoonerB says:

    TA, I still think Arteta could be worth serious consideration but will explain why at another time.

    I actually do not believe that Arsene got the best out of ozil at any time since he arrived. In that I mean on a consistent basis, the type of prolonged performances from your best technical player that gets you challenging more at the top end of the EPL.

    It has always been sporadic purple patches as far as I can see with Ozil all the way through, which is why I feel it is either Ozil is not suited to the EPL, no matter his talent, or that neither manager has been good enough to get the best out of him.

    I do respect your position on it though TA if we see it from different ends. As I say I think their is a reason we haven’t seen the best of Ozil’s talent that has been ever present under Arsene and now Emery who has inherited those problems that constitute those reasons. Will try and get that post done.

  45. Oh dear I seem to have started a bit of a ding dong about Ozil, AW and UE, sorry Rasp, your post and it’s comments was chugging along nicely 😦

  46. Anyone got anything for tomorrow???

  47. RA says:


    Are you impersonating me, using your own blog name?

    Your 5 p.m. was spot on, [well, my 5 p.m. – of course] and better yet, it does not have the sour, ‘I know better than you’ tone of some.

    Blogs are full of opinions – and rightly so — your opinions are mature, sensible and very readable.

    Fans opinions are rarely based on the clubs’ or players’ commercial, or personal factual knowledge, about contracts or much else – how could they be? And yet, it does not stop all of us having opinions, otherwise what is the point of a blog?

    It would be curious if any blogger did not know that opinions are like assholes — everyone has one – it’s a pity that some think their assholes smell opinions are better than everyone else’s, and sneer when anyone has a different opinion to theirs. 😳

    OK, OK, your knowledge and opinion is far better than mine, GB, no surprise there, and you express an opinion in a polite and respectful way.


  48. RA says:

    You are innocent, Peaches, 😁 Rasp’s post was bound to make bloggers focus on one or more strong opinions.

    Excellent!! Job done!! 👍

    [Did the Kiwis put out a weakened cricket team today?
    Anyway, Pakistan are playing brilliantly] — just saying.

  49. RA says:

    Doh — have I been banned? It was all GB’s fault!! 🤪

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    LBG, there are plenty who I would prefer and believe would get much more out of talented – young and old – squad. Remember it does not have to be a big name.

    I will support my team and keep expectations low.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Well yeah Rasp, Wenger did get much more out of Ozil…

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    GB, Ozil has been the king of the key pass for many a season and he produced assists for fun, but more importantly, he made us play in a different dimension. Try this: think Ozil away since he arrived and imagine what sort of Arsenal we would have had. But happy to agree to disagree. 🙂

  53. Rasp says:

    I disagree Total. And actually it’s up to the employee to do as the manager dictates, not the other way round. You may want to live in the past, but I am looking to the future and I just want the best for the team. Wenger is gone, there is nothing to be gained by continually referring back to him.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    yeah Rasp, footballers are employees. Well done manager. I was not referring back to Wenger… it was discussion between me and GB, so stay out mate.

  55. Rasp says:

    Total, the discussion is on my post and you have addressed comments to me on the subject of Ozil and his management. I think you need to calm down.

  56. jjgsol says:


    You are criticising me for criticising people who comment about the alleged contract given to Ozil, my criticism being that they do not know what the contract terms are and cannot criticise him for it.

    Your criticism is that I do not know the terms either and. therefore cannot comment.

    Surely, is that not the whole point?

    Anyone, including myself, who has no information about that contract, should not criticise Ozil based on the terms of a contract that they know nothing about. That makes sense.

    You take me to task because I say one should not make claims about that contract without knowing its terms, because I don’t know those terms either. I am afraid, that doesn’t make sense.

  57. GoonerB says:

    TA, no problems about agreeing to disagree. Healthy debate and all that. I enjoy debating with bloggers of a different opinion to me and am prone to changing my opinion based on others arguments, so I am not completely set in stone

    I think Wenger is immense in what he did with us and love the guy and will be forever grateful we had him, so when I talk about Wengers later years as going backwards it is not because I am a Wenger hater (a term I hate by the way) but because I genuinely feel he either had got left behind in the modern age or had changed in his view of how to develop a top team….or a bit of both.

    I actually think the Ozil issue starts in Arsene’s last few years (as our manager) and has just carried over into the Emery era, all be it with a slightly different focus. I will explain my reasons for this at a later date and look forward to you dismantling my reasoning 😀

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, dont tell me to calm down, but it is your blog and I can see that polite but robust discussions are not possible here. All the best.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Ah before I disappear.. just saw your comment, GB. We are not miles apart re Wenger and his last years. Keep up the good work and here is hoping for a fab season.

  60. Rasp says:

    Total, I have been nothing but polite to you, your first comment to me today started ‘oh dear Rasp’ … you and everyone else know that above all, polite disagreement is welcome on here. … perhaps you should revisit your comments …. “stay out mate” is not exactly cordial. Having said that, as far as I’m concerned you’re welcome to blog on here any time and to disagree with me or any other blogger as much as you like.

  61. RC78 says:

    I just want to say that this post was amazing as it really stirred up good discussions and a lot of emotions especially regarding Ozil. This weekend I will send a post about Mikhy…it won’t have the same bite as this one but I am hoping that it will also stimulate lively chats

    Well done Rasp for an excellent post and to all bloggers, I read your comments avidly. Really enjoyed today’s activity

  62. Rasp says:

    Thank you RC78. Your post is eagerly awaited.

  63. LB says:

    And there goes another one…………………………..

  64. allezkev says:

    Cheers Red, I watched Smith Rowe in a couple of games live last season and like Willock he has that happy knack in front of goal, but he also drifted out of games, there were times when it just seemed to pass him by. The quality is definitely there and despite fluctuations in form from youngsters a young player can also grow so quickly in 12 months that a fallow youth last season is suddenly a man and you think ‘where did he come from?’…

    Just as Rasp stated, I’m hoping to see our youngsters and hopefully some thoughtful signings, making an impression in preseason.

  65. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. I mentioned yesterday that I had a post in mind but don’t have the time right now so didn’t want anyone thinking it would fit for purpose today.

    Based on some of the discussions though a post about the managerial appointment after Wenger could be a good conversation starter, along the lines of do you think we made the right appointment or not (with reasons) or do we need longer before we really know? Also would be interesting to hear who people’s preferred choice was before Dick was formally announced (that could include retaining AW for longer).

  66. Rasp says:

    Morning GoonerB, that is a brave suggestion, and one likely to promote a few fireworks! We may have a little something for today, but I think your idea would require a bit more thought and planning, Is it part of this epic postyou keep threatening us with?😃

  67. RA says:

    Morning AK,

    That was a good point about the growth spurts of young people, and it is all too easy for those of us wanting them to go on and become stars,

    The fallow youth from last year becoming a man in the blink of an eye, so to speak, is spot on, and that could also explain how real twinkling youth stars one year, disappear the next year becoming a chimera the next.

    We have often had that – and we subsequently find bloggers, including me, asking others “whatever happened to X or Y?” as we realised that ‘X’ or ‘Y’ have gone missing, and their youthful potential with them.

    I really feel sorry at the end of the season when The Cull of hopeful young players sees so many of them exiting the club, with their hopes abandoned, and with probably a tear or two as well.

  68. RA says:

    Morning Rasp,

    One of the best blogging days we have had for a long time, yesterday, thanks to you and your Post.

    I do not understand why you get so much totally unwarranted criticism. If that happened on other blogs, there would be a discrete ‘moderation’ and that would be that.

    You take it in your stride, and always remain polite — credit to you. 👍

  69. Rasp says:

    Morning Redders, thanks for the kind words. My only aim is to try to provide a friendly forum that is not afraid of any topic and reflects current concerns as well as delighting in past and present glories. There may be some who have a different agenda, but hey ho … you can’t please all the people

  70. RA says:

    Howdy, GB,

    Any Post discussing the current manager – and who would have been a better appointment etc, – would be fine, if you have one handy — although it might lead to a re-run of yesterdays comments.

    That Post you were going to do in 2017, when you had time, is it nearly ready now? 🤪

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, this is my very last comment here.

    I can see how my words could have made you upset and I am sorry about that.

    if you read back you will see there is little room here for decent debate and it is not only you who made this clear yesterday. It is all very subtle and you and Peaches may review your style (and have a word with the self-celebrating blog-clown Red Arse as well). I have my own blog and we have decent and robust discussions on there, but I liked coming here as well as there are/were some quality bloggers with whom it was good blogging. I have no agenda (if that comment was aimed at me, shame on you) and only wish the best to AA. Up the Arsenal!

  72. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the comment Total. There was plenty of healthy debate on here yesterday and most bloggers who disagreed were happy to do so without getting upset with one another. It is only a debate if there is more than one opinion.

    For some reason you are reading too much into … or maybe projecting your feelings .. on to other bloggers. I think your description of Redders is beneath you .. you may think an apology is due.

    Again, having said that, you and everyone else is welcome on here. It’s not a closed shop. No one has been banned. We shall continue to put up posts that will engender opposing views .. why not stick around and be a part of it.

  73. Total – you know that our ethos on this site has always been the same. We have encouraged healthy debate and allow everyone to have their say. We are all trying to restore some balance to the site and your criticisms of Rasp and I trying to stifle debate are quite untrue.

    We have always encouraged all bloggers to accept others might not agree with you and a healthy debate can happen without people getting upset and throwing insults.

    You will always be welcome here.

  74. …………… and now, we have a New Post ……………..

  75. RA says:


    I am a little surprised to read your final comment, and rather taken aback.

    On the face of it, I seem to have been mistaken in believing that we have been friends for many years, and I cannot understand what has changed that without me even being aware of your view.

    At the end of last season, you told me, and others, you were closing BK and I expressed my sadness at the news, as you know, more so as I had been supportive of the new Blog (and therefore of you) right from the beginning, and that has never changed.

    Yesterday, we never exchanged a single comment.
    From my perspective, you seemed to be at loggerheads with everyone you spoke to, and as I know your views, very well, and you mine, on the topics discussed, I did not think it would have helped to interject.

    I did make a point, when fooling with GB, which I do a lot, and he with me – its the clown in me maybe – by repeating a hardly original view about opinions and a certain part of the anatomy.

    I wanted to try and remind someone (not GB and not you) that I had previously explained to him, that disagreement is the life blood of any decent blog, but it is not acceptable to personalise an opinion by claiming, with opinions galore. (and I do not like myself or my fellow bloggers to be called liars) The latest example was, that we, on AA, are liars perpetuating others’ lies.

    None of that referred to you.

    My friendship seems to be a one way street, and that is a shame, but I would like you to continue blogging here, and if that means you do mot want me to respond to your comments in the future – that would be tough, but if necessary I would agree to that.

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