Perfect Pepe … Ivan was terrible … Ian is Right Right Right

First let us all rejoice in the news that the ‘big club with the smallest budget’ just signed the 4th most expensive player in Premier League history.

Welcome Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal now have a front three to match the best in Europe.

Every Arsenal supporter should be over the proverbial moon. This is more than a big signing, this is a statement by the club …. don’t write us off, we mean business and we can do business.

It also puts into perspective the performance of the previous management team who were also working under the tight fisted, disinterested American billionaire (… yes, I’m being sarcastic).

I love Ian Wright, he bleeds Arsenal. I’ve seen him have to bite his lip many times on television in recent years as he struggles to avoid saying what he really feels for fear of damaging the club.

Well now he has let rip … and I love him even more for it.

For those of us (like me) who questioned what Ivan Gazidis actually did apart from delivering slick platitudes, Ian Wright’s words resonate.

Here are just a few lines of what he had to say:

I’ve got to give credit to Raul Sanllehi, head of football and the senior leadership of our club. This is exceptionally good business. This is unbelievable. This is the kind of business Arsenal have missed for so long.

We could mention that other fool (meaning Gazidis) that was there – but I won’t because I’m in a positive vein now. This is the kind of player about whom we’d usually be saying ‘I wish we’d have got him’. Well, we’ve got him.

It’s a deal we assumed would never be done but it’s brilliant. This is the kind of player who, once he settles in, I personally think we’ve got a world-class player on our hands.

I’m not being over the top, I’m not being over-excited. I genuinely believe that from what I’ve seen of him. He ticks so many boxes in terms of goals and assists but for me it’s the directness. We miss that.

We miss a player that can take players on one-on-one and beat them. A player who can receive the ball, dribble, turn and run at players. No defenders want to face that. I’m very excited about it.

This is what Wrighty had to say about the new contract for Matteo Guendouzi:

This is what we should have been doing years ago. Now, someone upstairs has actually got their finger on the button, knowing we need to sign players. We signed Matteo last year ago for £8m. People are now in for him for £30m.

That’s the kind of business that we are starting to do. This is why the people upstairs now are starting to get it. We are getting into people before their contracts run down and that is great business. I love what they are doing.

I have renewed sympathy for Arsene Wenger after all the abuse he took in his latter years. The man who should have managed the situation, who failed to recruit a top quality management team around him, who was the one who was far too comfortable on his fat salary and who was happy to let the blame be directed at others…  was Ivan Gazidis.

So today we can celebrate two things. The signing of a world class player for a club record fee and the demonstration that the wrongs of the Gazidis era have finally been put Right Right Right.




54 Responses to Perfect Pepe … Ivan was terrible … Ian is Right Right Right

  1. Wonderful Rasp …………… wonderful wonderful wonderful ………….. wonderful that we’ve signed Pepe, wonderful that the club look like it means business and wonderful that I’m so excited for the new season ………. (oh and the guys down the road are sooooo envious tee hee hee)

    Micky – come and talk to us, we’ve signed Pepe 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. LBG says:

    “We’ve signed a World class player”, have several World class players already in the squad, have an Academy with a number of potential top class youngsters imbued with Arsenal and its traditions, have two top class potential signings still coming and one, IMO, potential world class one coming next year.
    The World is Red, and we are ready for a new season.

  3. Hi LBG

    How exciting is this ??????????????

    What a shame our Burnley kick off is at stupid o’clock on the 17th grrrr, no time for a catch up and a beer, so Sunday 1st September will be our first meet up. Can’t wait …………….

  4. RA says:

    Top, top article, Rasper, 😁

    You are so correct. The previous management, and I mean Gazidis, were simply inept, and bled money into the sand in a way no other club has done, and it is not worth wasting time on recounting that nonsense again.

    Delighted we recruited a top talent, and not be like grubby kids looking into a sweet shop while other kids could anything they liked.

  5. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rasp

    My feelings echo LBG’s 9.07. It is almost as if all factors are aligning right now in having a pretty decent squad of internationals already, having a number of excellent academy players knocking on the door, and now adding world class players where we really need them.

    You feel the regime under SK has woken up and suddenly realised what it takes to run one of the top European based football clubs.

    It is as if we are seizing our moment which is something we have failed to do over the last number of years, when in a position to really push on, where we have historically almost seized our moment before this but just backed off at from pushing our position of strength through. I just hope those last 2-3 recruitments are pushed through now so we really seize our moment rather than almost seizing it again.

    Do this and I feel the likes of Utd, Spuds and Chavs should be a tad worried that we are a re-emerging force. They have had it easy from us in recent seasons where we have literally opened doors for them to walk through and gain league position advantage without them having to do anything special themselves for it.

    I am no fan of Gazidis but I am not sure our recent woes are all down to him. Are we saying that Stan and AW requested all the right things to be done and Gazidis just said no,no,no? Not sure I can believe a picture of Stan and Arsene having all the right answers and having the greater ambition only for Gazidis to refuse their requests and thwart them both.

    As usual I tend to believe that the recent years problems are a variety of factors involving a variety of people. That said, if they are now showing that they will get it right (by and large) from now on, then I for one will stand firmly behind our regime. Better late than never.

  6. LBG says:

    Morning, young Peach of an Arsenal fan.
    Back from sunny Boulder, Colorado and revelling in the company of son and grandchildren. Buzzing at the start of a new season for perhaps the first time for three. Looking for positivity all the way from day one, a season to savour, and perhaps something significant in the trophy cabinet. Would love to meet up on first of September to laugh at Totteringham but what’s wrong with having a guffaw at the Dippers?
    Happy season, AAers!

  7. Sue says:

    Oh happy days – Soccer Saturday is back tomorrow! Community Shield on Sunday – come on City 👊 followed by our game against Barca! Pepe is a gooner.. 9 days to go!
    Will there be any more surprises in our transfer window? Poor little former spuds have nothing better to do than belittle it (shouldn’t they be too busy celebrating their cup triumph?! 😂)

    Nice article, Rasp. I love Wrighty too.. agree with every word he said! What a future we have to look forward to 🥰

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning GB. Gazidis was the chief exec … AW’s boss. The buck had to stop with him in the same way it does with Vinai Vikatesham and Raul Sanllehi now. Sanllehi is credited as the main driving force behind the transfer deals, but he is being backed by VV who is finding ways of funding the deals and probably taking some risks.

    I went to an AGM 5 years ago and heard IG’s empty words. Ask yourself this, what has changed? Only the personnel.

  9. RC78 says:

    I think the club is also realizing that Europa League qualification also needs to be valued as teams like Everton, West Ham, Leicester and Watford are also able to spend quite some money to strengthen so it is possible that the AFC decided that we could not compromise our chances to miss out on Europa League either.

    City, Liverpool, United and until recently Chelsea have massive ability to spend. Tottenham is also strengthening and when you see what Everton and West Ham are trying to do this year, you have to say that there 4 financial megalodons, 2 big financial monsters (Tottenham, Arsenal) and up to 4 medium-sized monsters. That is 10 teams in total that are spending vast amounts to strengthen their squad – it s just that the medium-sized monsters dont have access to the bigger players like..Alisson, Van Dijk, Rodri, Pogba, Auba, Pepe.

    In any case, glad that we re making great business. Alas, Alves joined Sao Paolo so here is to hoping that we get a CB, DM and FB before the end of the window. I d say go to Benfica and grab a deal for Dias-Grimaldo and go to Porto for Danilo Pereira. Make it a structured deal and loan out a player to Benfica like…Mavropanos.

    Leno – Bellerin, Dias, Holding, Grimaldo – Pereira, Toreira – Ceballos – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Martinez – Jenko, Sok, Monreal, Kola – AMN, Guen – Willock – RN, Nketiah, Iwobi

    Who needs Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil?

  10. Nungsang says:

    I think the content of this article is a top top quality. :):):)

  11. LB says:

    Some may have wished for a Mustafi upgrade while others wished for an Iwobi upgrade and guess what — we wished harder 🙂

    Ooooh, this toy is so new and so shiny.

  12. LBG says:

    Happy Birthday, Emile. Make this the start of great things to come. Believe and we will believe!

  13. fred1266 says:

  14. Mike M says:

    Morning all and a happy one it is too. My comment on Gazidis is that these things are situational. I don’t think AW was he man to lead us forward but it was also difficult to remove him because he was a God and deserved all the time he was given. In the mean time, we passed on Pep, Klopp and Poch, not to mention one or two more. It’s hard to know what AW asked for but I honestly believe he was given most of it. Gazidis might not have done the greatest job either but the club was run by Arsene, period. That isn’t meant to tarnish him in any way, it’s just the way it panned out.
    It goes back to this. Stan doesn’t interfere in his businesses. He hires people and they hire people and he lets them do their jobs. I know it didn’t work under AW in the latter years but you need to look at it from KSE’s p.o.v also which is, how can we fire the greatest manager Arsenal ever had? Is that going to endear us to the fans?
    I think it’s obvious we wasted a few years but as I said, maybe that was situational. What it looks like to me (and Wrighty, Rasp and many others on here) is that we’re headed in the right direction and Stan is “playing ball”. If that’s the case, then rejoice !!!

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    Whilst thoroughly excited by Pepe’s arrival, I don’t look back at last season and think that a quality winger and a Ramsey replacement (Ceballos) is all that was required to make us great again. At the minute those are the only 2 changes we’ve made to the squad (not sure how much Martinelli will play and Saliba has gone on loan) so I still see massive holes and massive room for improvement. Hopefully some of the youngsters can step up to the plate if they are kept at the club (AMN, Willock, Martinez, Mavropanos and Nelson look closest to the first team), but I still believe the new and improved management structure will need at least 1 more summer window before this squad starts to look like a contender again.

    It’s been a huge improvement this window, so I can understand the excitement rising and the mood around the club lifting (finally!!!), but I would still be delighted with 4th place a EL cup run come the end of the season.

  16. Mike M says:

    FGG you are correct. But Rome wasn’t built in a day !!!

  17. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, your 11.37. I agree to a a large degree and I feel he oversaw a horrible period with regard to contract and transfer negotiations that weakened our position. I have no doubt that Gazidis messed a lot up so a significant amount comes down to him, and I am pleased that we have a fresh new team in place.

    While he was AW’s boss, arguably Josh Kroenke was Gazidis boss and then Stan Kroenke was Josh’s boss, so where does the buck truly stop?

    Behind Gazidis were there others that ultimately call the shots? We don’t know how much freedom and / or restriction was afforded or placed on Gazidis by the Kroenke’s.

    I am not about to defend Gazidis, who was not good for us, but more about not necessarily saying it was all down to him, while at the same time letting others off Scot free, and I do feel we should have a balanced and proportional blame for our recent years failings if we are looking at that as a subject of discussion.

    Much of the blame lies with Gazidis but ultimate blame surely lies as much with the owner, as any failings have happened on his watch with his appointed people, who must receive a certain level of direction from the owner.

    I am also not wanting to start up an anti Kroenke agenda. I have been critical of his stewardship to date, but potentially things are looking different with regard to their approach, so I would not focus on what they have done wrong if they are now getting it right.

    However if we are looking at what has historically been wrong at the club over the last few years then the Kroenke’s must surely be as culpable as Gazidis. As well as personnel changes, it could be as much about a change in attitude from the owner that is seeing this more pro-active and positive approach.

  18. fred1266 says:

  19. fred1266 says:

  20. RA says:

    I can rightly celebrate the purchase of a top player which other big clubs were trying to buy too and that promises well for the future.

    But I am slightly disappointed that the comments instead have centred more on chewing over old bones, and that caused so many vitriolic arguments in the past, usually based on opinions and not facts.

    Everyone on AA has always been welcome to express their views, but when it is such old hat, I would prefer to bask in the happiness that the release of transfer funding has given us a really decent player.

    Why don’t we give that a try, and leave the “I told you so” back in its box.

  21. RA says:


    I think your ‘photos are excellent, and I cannot wait to see him play for us!! 😁

  22. fred1266 says:

    Yea hopefully he gets a run against Barcelona

  23. Mike M says:

    RA, I don’t really see it as that, more about are we really headed in a different and therefore better direction based upon one signing. Usually that would mean no but I think the general consensus is that there were a few fundamental issues in bygone years and the hope that we’re fixing them.
    No Gooner should be unhappy with this signing.

  24. fred1266 says:

  25. RA says:


    You are welcome to your opinion — I think I said that.

    Hopefully, I am allowed to express an opinion too.

    You finished by saying no Gooner should be unhappy with the signing of Pepe, and you have said much the same thing before — why are you telling me that?

    Do you think I am unhappy with it?

    I will happily disabuse you of that!

  26. fred1266 says:

  27. fred1266 says:

    Ok I think I need to come of Twitter now

  28. Brady's Namesake says:

    First want to start off by saying that this is an incredible signing, absolutely over the moon and really enjoyed the read Rasp. I also want to point out that i think it is very obvious that we need additional/better centre back options. With that being said, I feel that people are getting too caught up in this idea that we spent the money on the wrong position.

    In my personal opinion, lacking quality players on the ball contributed as much as, possibly more to our poor defensive record than the back line itself. As someone pointed out recently, Xhaka was responsible for 7 errors leading to goals to Mustafis 3. Thats a statement not to point out that Xhaka or Mustafi are bad (thats been discussed enough), but rather our midfield play last season was dreadful at times. As a result, we couldnt keep the ball leading to costly errors or bombardment on our goal that we could no longer hold up to.

    So in short, a centre back is definitely still needed, I dont think anyone is arguing that. Just feel that the additions of Ceballos and Pepe (two players who can dribble in close quarters and win fouls) could potentially help us almost as much at the back as they will going forward.

  29. LBG says:

    What a gorgeous day of sport. Positive AAers and bashing the Aussies. Heaven on earth!

  30. RA says:

    Spot on, Brady’s Namesake!

    I also said that tho I did not want to be greedy, following that terrific signing of Pepe, I would be even happier if we signed Tierney and a CB.

    In my (not so humble) opinion (if that’s OK) I think we have some jewels coming thru from the youth academy, and the likes of Willock and Emile will bolster the creaking midfield, fingers crossed. 😁

  31. Mike M says:

    RA I didn’t get the impression you were unhappy with it, especially since you said you were very happy. If it came across that way it wasn’t intended, More of a general comment. It’s just led to a post and a discussion and isn’t a validation of one opinion being better than another.

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    Just heard a rumour of Coutinho to Arsenal. Surely that must be nonsense!!!

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    An Özil swap would be the only way that could possibly be a thing. Probably just nonsense.

  34. This must be the only Arsenal blog that actually supports Ian Wright, and I’m pleased to see it as he takes a lot of undeserved flak elsewhere. I know he sometimes puts his foot into his mouth, but he does not criticise without justification and and he’s one of the first in there with positivity (like now) when we deserve it.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi and welcome Brady’s namesake. I agree we need a centre back and I am optimistic that we will sign Kierney and a CB.

    The CB is a difficult one as we currently have loads available in the squad. Also we have to expect Saliba to walk straight into the side next season, so I expect us to buy either … 1. A top quality ready to go CB … or 2. Another promising youngster … or 3. No-one.

    I guess it will depend on whether Mustafi and Koscielny move on.

  36. GoonerB says:

    Ian Wright is a legend SR and I love his passion. You can see he feels the pain and joy that the supporters do with Arsenal. He is one of us.

    RA, I tend to see this post from Rasp as an excellent conversation starter that is highlighting the positiveness at the club right now by contrasting it with the recent years of negativity. Almost like we are becoming a phoenix reborn.

    For me it is pointing out how we are turning around the club from one in a less positive position to a far more positive one. I agree with you that we shouldn’t dwell on past negative factors, as a way of being per se, but I still think we can recognise the contrasting differences between what we are seeing now and what we have seen over the last few years. In many ways it makes what we are seeing now all the more exciting and sweeter.

    I think you are right RA that we should all be rejoicing in what we are seeing now and this world class signing, and I really that hope as we enter this season we can recognise those recent failings as purely historical lessons that now no longer need dwelling upon, and more importantly do not need to be brought back into mainstream discussion.

  37. RA says:

    Agreed, Rasper, @ 6:52

    I am slightly surprised that we did not offer Cahill a one year contract, he is only 32 or 33 y.o. and certainly would be a help in backing up our current CB options.

  38. Rasp says:

    Thanks GB … that was exactly my intention. Loads to be optimistic about. I’m really looking forward to this season.

  39. RA says:

    GoonerB, @ 7:12

    Very diplomatically put, and of course you are quite right! 😁 (I have tried very hard using a magnifying glass, but as usual I can find no fault!)

    Actually, I did not identify you or Mike, or anyone else, with my call for discussions on future hopes and expectations, and the preference to leave the past to itself. (In any event, we will never know the the facts of who or what buggered up the Arsenal over the past 10 years or so.)

    I intended to offer an alternative to the inevitable falling out between those who ‘blame’ Kroenke; or Gazidis (it was largely his fault — oops 🤪; or AW for holding on to the club and a job he loved, when really he should have gone long before he did — oops, done it again 😳 – see how easily it is to slip down that slippery and pointless path.

  40. fred1266 says:

    No one wants that Barcelona reject

  41. RA says:

    Mike @ 6:32

    Sorry I missed your earlier reply – food was calling me – but I think my discussion with the lovely GB puts his view (and yours?) very well, and altho my response doesn’t add much to what I said previously, – it gives some hypothetical examples.

    Hopefully, we can put our discussion this afternoon down to a misunderstanding.

    I actually have a lot of time for your views and Posts — and have said so, maybe I took umbrage today over something not intended.

    Please accept my apologies.

  42. fred1266 says:

    Couldn’t we have sold beilik and mustafi for the 10 mil to Derby

  43. fred1266 says:

    rc78 heard alves gone palou

  44. GoonerB says:

    Don’t worry RA, I didn’t feel identified (I’m still incognito as far as I know), just making one of my usual rambling excramental verbosum comments 🙂

    How are you anyway RA? I am still looking forward to a pre-game catch up light ale sometime.

    I would love to know Terry’s take on Pepe. I would imagine he would judge him by his ability to play the Lyra after downing a bottle of mountain village home brewed Ouzo.

  45. RA says:


    I would love the wonderful Terry to give us his take on Pepe and other recent events — and while he is doing so, perhaps he could tell us a tail (?) or two about camels and their nefarious goings on with blow pipes. 😎

    I am still aiming to surprise you guys by making an appearance at a game this season, and having a pint, but I am still having some problems, and things are occasionally difficult.

    By the way, I love your self description of your comments as being excremental verbosity.
    Not true!! 😂

    I have been known to have an addiction to excessive
    sesquipedalian loquacity — as if? 😳

  46. LB says:

    I must admit I was a bit confused as to how anyone could take issue with the view point: how can any gooner not be happy today.

    Although that all seems to be coming out in the wash but it does leave a humous image of Basil Forte goose stepping across the screen shouting: Don’t mention the war or more appropriately in our case; Don’t mention the defence.

    I saw this formation on a site which made me laugh, I can’t remember which exactly.

    Pepe, Lacazette, Aubamayang





  47. Mike M says:

    @RA. No apologies needed. This is a discussion forum with differences of opinion. In no way can your comments be regarded as rude or crossing any lines. Which is the strength of this site in my opinion.
    I like Ian wright. A stark contrast to a couple of other former players who always seem bitter to me. I think Wrighty may have occasionally fallen into the trap of apportioning blame out of frustration and as RA and most of us here point out, who knows where the blame lies. At this point, who cares??!! To his credit, he’s looking forward and giving credit now which is a good thing and generally seems to be the consensus.
    Off to play a little golf now. Will try to putt like Pepe shoots !!!

  48. fatgingergooner says:


    I don’t think many Arsenal fans have an issue with Ian Wright do they? I think the problem maybe that he uses Twitter as a way to get his point across and we all know that Twitter is full of 12 year old FIFA players who think you can buy players 3 for the price of 2 from the local Asda.

  49. Mike M says:

    FGG. Yes. Just how Trump won the election.

  50. VP of Oz says:

    Thank you RA for sesquipedalian loquacity.
    That made my day.

    As for other matters. I feel the turning point in getting smarter with transfers was in the Sanchez Mihki deal. That resulted in Yo Pierre and then Ozil re-signing. From there we got Leno, Torr, Gdouzi, Sok. Now we have Pepe!!! but also Martinelli, Saliba for next season and Ceballos for only this season.

    Tierney is still in the mix and they say the Bielik sale will get this funded over the line. Coutinho on loan, hahaha.

    Any way, looking forward to the start of the season.

  51. VP of Oz says:

    I read the following in football london –
    The Gunners are one of the clubs being linked with an interest in signing former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho on loan, with reports even suggesting that Sanllehi’s good relationship with Barcelona is putting Arsenal at the head of the race for the Brazilian.

    Reports claim that the Arsenal head of football is set to meet with Barcelona officials during the two teams’ game against each other on Sunday in order to try and come to a deal.

    There has also been links with Barcelona center back Samuel Umtiti.

    PepeSZN @IvorianRW
    If we get umtiti and coutinho on loan and Tierney then I’m getting the third kit with raul sanllehi on the back

  52. LB says:

    “If we get umtiti and coutinho on loan and Tierney then I’m getting the third kit with raul sanllehi on the back”


  53. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

  54. fred1266 says:

    Why would Barcelona sell umtiti though,

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