Here is Dexter’s latest post – slightly edited:
“William Saliba….What the hell is going on here?
Either he’s not it and we should have sold him, or he is not quite good enough, yet, so would benefit from a loan to a PL club.
Neither has happened. I am baffled and the decision making of Arteta, Edu and others at the club. They are all rightly under massive scrutiny after last season.
For a club like Arsenal to fork out 27 MILLION QUID on an 18 year old defender smacks of either…
Gross negligence/incompetence or some kind of money laundering/tax evasion scheme.
Maybe that’s why Arteta doesn’t want Saliba anywhere near the club???
Blimey, when is this club going to get MOST (not all, I’m not greedy or deluded!) decisions right? When are we going to have a well balanced squad that features (at the same time) a good keeper, decent defenders, an actual proper defensive minded midfielder, an attacking/creative number 10 and strikers who can score goals???
So are you feeling like Dexter? Is the club not getting enough decisions right? Is the duo Edu-Arteta actually not delivering? Are the people above them not doing their job?
There you go @LBG
LBG: “Dexter, sir,
Understand your puzzlement. Interested that you think a loan to a PL Club would be a good idea. I think he and his agent have had a preferred say, especially if Mikel is not guaranteeing him a first team place, and have opted for his home nation for next season. I think a Championship team would have been a better idea, to toughen him up and see if the ball playing ability is still evident in that league.
If Arteta has reservations at present ( perhaps even some of those evident in Guendouzi), why not give him more time to develop. Have a clause if he is pulling up the flowers up to Christmas and injuries hit, to call him back for second half of season. If we have made a mistake, sell him after he has had some time playing with us to prove one way or another. If his ability proves to be what it could be, we will still have IMO, a future diamond.”
Arteta is paid to make decisions on the likes of saliba and willock and they are the ones that are going to get him sacked before very long
Only if they are wrong!! Mikel didn’t buy Saliba, and I think we will see much improvement this upcoming season in the whole squad, especially if he can get rid of several more.
He is entitled to his opinion but he did not and likely cannot support his contention that the club is not getting it right most of the time. It is a BS post by a disgruntled fanboy and that’s it. If he thinks in his fertile imagination, that he can do better than a trio of professional,experienced and well trained management Gunners then he should apply for the job. I have the Hr office’s address if he wants it.
Dexter – thanks for allowing me to use and edit your last comment as a post 😛
No worries mate.
It’s cathartic for us fanboys to vent now and again!!! 🤣👍
Ok, Mr. OMG, being such an expert, please give us a list of 5 players signed in the last 3 years who are an unreserved success.
If you honestly think that the transfer policy operated by the club in that period is so wonderful, you should not have any problem in answering that question.
By the way, don’t suggest Partey. He has hardly set the world alight with his performances so far.
Jigsol – I can name one only with confidence: Tierney.
I also tend to agree that we have not done so well in the past few years with our overall decision making and player management and I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU TO LJUNGBERG who basically brought in Saka, Willock and Nketiah to the fold…I think if it weren’t for his short stint, these boys may not have gotten a chance when they got it
Thanks, RC, but that is one and I asked for 5.
Dexter’s comment implies that most of the players acquired have not been successful, which Mr OMG criticised him for that assertion.
Well if Mr OMG can provide us with 5 names of successful purchases, then there would have to be only 4 unsuccessful ones.
But, I think even he will agree that the number of lemons has been considerably more than 4 and I do not think he can come up with the 5 I asked for.
Willian, Soures, Runassen, Saliba, Odegard, Cellabos, Luiz, That is 7 before you start, and there are more, so Mr OMG will have to find more than 8 successful transfers to prove his point against Dexter.
Even Tierney, albeit a good player, was injured when he came and has been injured on and off since. Can that he said to be successful?
Finally, my response to Mr OMG was fuelled by my taking offence on behalf of Dexter at the derogatory tone and content of his post. I certainly did not believe that he actually considers it realistic to suggest that a majority of the transfer in the last 3 years have been successful.
Most of the frustration I have isn’t aimed at Arteta. I have really hopes for him, he’s intelligent, dedicated and focused. He’s also been at the club a relatively short time, won an FA Cup and has given a few young players chances to develop and shine in the 1st team. He is bound to make decisions that don’t always work out (Willian, Runnarsson, Cedric) and that list also should include Partey, £45 million for a player whose neither a DM, a B2B midfielder or an AM…. another fucking Xhaka! 😱😱😜
What’s so wrong in having a proper DM next to a player like Whillock?
But I guess that’s way too simplistic! 🤣🤣
I do think Arteta will be under huge pressure and scrutiny this season. We have good players in most positions and there’s still a lot of time to sort the squad out.
And hopefully the club will get there: a far better more coherent transfer strategy.
Thanks jjgsol mate
Rc78 emery is the one who brought in saka
Lundberg is the one responsible for Saka and Smith-Rowe.
I recall it was also Ljungberg but maybe Fred is right…It was a muddled period…Since then we won an FA Cup and Emery the UEFA Cup with Villareal, go figure…
I wish we could get rid of Leno and get a proper keeper…I feel like there are not many great keepers but there is this Argentinian fellow who just won the Copa America, he looks quite good…:-P
Please, please, no more Chelski rejects!!!
Agree with most of your points Dexter.
Some of the transfers, like Saliba for £27m & Pepe for £72m scream fraud. Include the use of dubious agents by Raul to increase the price of the Torreira & Leno deals we have been well and truly rogered
This goes back to Gazidis scuttling off to Madrid and getting any Tom Dick or Harry to fill his role. We end up with a shyster who only has interest in his cut of transfer fees.
Above Ivan the Terrible you have the Krankies who have absolutely no idea what is going on.
A recipe for disaster that Arteta is trying to unpick. I think Edu is on borrowed time. He was far too close to Raul and still hangs with dodgy agents. A bad summer of transfer and he is gone.
Is Arteta trying to unpick the problem exacerbate it?
Have we seen any instance if positive man management by him?
Have seen a single player improve as a result of Arteta’s training and encouragement?
We have seen the unprecedented exiling of good quality players and academy graduates, whilst at the same time a drastic quality in the team performances.
Are the players or Arteta the problem?
I think you all know my view.
Surely the Tammy Abraham rumours must rank as the most spurious and full of BS so far this summer!
@jjgsol you tend to see the dark side of most things. You are a fan of Darth Vader, no?
I find it bizarre that you feel the manager would actively try to make things worse. If he does that he will be sacked. Maybe he tried to lose that FA Cup final and it just didn’t go to plan.
I’m interested in how you would resolve Arsenal’s present maialse considering the limited finances etc?
@Dexter I really like Abraham, but he’s still potential at the moment. He has pace, power and heading ability, but doesn’t convert enough chances at the moment.
We are stacked with forwards at the moment, so the signing doesn’t make sense. If we’ve pinned down Balogun he needs a chance first.
Saying that the White signing doesn’t make much sense to me when we already have a lot of defenders. Midfield is where we should be recruiting.
That’s the thing about the Abraham rumour… it makes no sense. We have forwards. There’s other areas of need that are more of a priority.
I think White could be a top signing, him, Holding, Gabriel and Mari would be the 1st choice pool of CBs, 4 is the minimum really. At RB if Bellerin is off (surely we won’t let him go on loan? That makes eff all sense and ALL the talk is emu acting from Italy, suggesting Inter are trying to manipulate the situation, without people realising how big a bunch of cheeky cheap skates they are?), we have Chambers and (hopefully) AMN to fight for 1st choice slot.
In midfield I have to say I’d prefer us to sign Bissouma than Neves. That’s if either are even available and/or on Arsenal’s radar. Like, whatever happened to us being in for Sander Berge?
The trickiest position to fill is the number 10, IMO. Emile was pushed out wide to accommodate Odegaard last season. So ESR should be 1st choice, but we really struggled to create at times last season, so we do need someone, but who? It wouldn’t be good to expect ESR to be the main creative source.
A Dennis Bergkamp v2.0 would be perfect!! 🤣
Tavares (back up LB)
Lockonga (back up DM)
White (1st choice CB)
Bissouma (1st choice DM)
Aouar (no 10) ???
And a back up keeper, possibly Ramsdale.
All that would cost about £150m!!
Which would mean we really need to maximise all transfer fees we recoup! But I won’t hold my breath on that! 😜
MOST? How about SOME?
Let’s get the odd decision right – please!
Dexter is right. The Saliba case is mystifying to say the least. But its only the latest in a lengthy rap sheet I’m afraid.
Darth Vader is a positive pussy cat compared to some of our doom merchants!😉
Looking forward to the revival of the potential silver liners on this site. Anyone looking forward to a new season?
Well, Pete, I have been frequently accused of being a pessimist but never a dastardly despot and murderer.
My philosophy has always been that I would rather be a pleased pessimist than a disappointed optimist.
I am sure that you have been a fan of our beloved club for more than my 60 years so you are, possibly, better placed to comment about the standard of football that we are now seeing.
Over the years that I have been a supporter, we have seen plenty of poor teams but yet they were always capable of producing the occasional top performance.
Under Arteta’s stewardship, the rubbish that his teams have produced has been consistent without any occasion one could possibly say that there was a top performance for the entire game.
We have parked the bus and bored the fans consistently, game after game.
I am not suggesting that Arteta is deliberately working towards destroying the club.
He has his vision, no doubt based on his experiences at Man$ity, working under Guardiola, and is pursuing that policy with tunnel vision, totally ignoring the effect of what he is doing.
I agree that the club’s present malaise is dire but we will have to disagree as to whether or not Arteta is the one to take us out of it
I have no solution to the problem but I feel that Arteta doesn’t either.
The difference is that I am a 68-year-old solicitor and Arteta is paid a large sum of money to manage the club which I think he is incapable of doing.
Have a good weekend.
@jjgsol all in jest. You know Darth Vader isn’t real? Jabba the Hutt on the other hand…
You have a good 20 years on my Arsenal watching, but I go to games with fans that were going in the 60s and I respect their opinions of what the team was like back then.
From what they say the mid 70s were atrocious. Probably as bad as it has been for Arsenal. Terry Mancini being the poster boy for rotten signings. There were chinks of light with Alan Ball, Malcolm MacDonald and Brady coming through. That Arsenal side finished as low as 17th in the league.
Compared to that this current lot don’t look too bad…but then I am a glass-half-fuller.
As a JP you must be a Club Level season ticket holder?
Or if you are a QC an Executive Box?
I am neither, just a common or garden solicitor, working on my own in the suburbs.
I am not a member or a season ticket holder.
I rarely go to games, so I have to bow to your greater experience on-site.
The best I can do is watch games on Sky.
As it is, as an Orthodox jew, Saturday games on Sky are also out.
Nevertheless, I am a fan and like so many who have not been privileged to go to many matches, I can still express an opinion on what I see in the games I have been able to watch.
I think you may have benefitted from the fact that you have not been able to attend games in the last 18 months or so, as I find that the people who actually see the games live can also be more critical because they see much more than the TV camera shows,
Whilst I used to look forward to games and enjoy them. Under Arteta (and also starting under Emery) I watch out of duty, rather than enjoyment, because I am usually bored and find the fare so uninteresting, I suspect that watching plants grow might be more exciting. I cannot wait for the games to end.
Whereas I used to be annoyed about a loss for days after a game, now I could not care at all. As loss means nothing to me.
Like so many, I had high hopes of Arteta but he has dashed them thoroughly.
The stodgy, orderly and manipulated style he has stamped on the players is destroying their morale as well as extinguishing their skills.
Auba’s poor form is not, I feel, to do with his age, but simply because of the way Arteta requires the rest of the team to play so Auba’s skills are being bypassed and ignored.
I dare say that Arteta’s real plan is to make him so unhappy that he will want to leave. He tried it with Ozil, to the team’s and the club’s detriment, but it did not work so that we were still paying his salary until very recently.
His treatment of so many experienced and academy players is a cause of much embarrassment to so many fans and yet he continues to do it, with impunity.
There, you have my views.
I have them because I genuinely feel concerned for the club.
Of course, I can do nothing, but watch as I suspect the deterioration gets worse.
I hope I am wrong but doubt it.
Have a good weekend.
Jjgsol and Pete (and everyone else for that matter!) In the spirit of full disclosure…
Guys, I’m registered blind (I have some vision, I can see a Xhaka FAILING to track back or a Willian misplaced pass ON TV!) But when I’m at the game, live, ideally away from home, I LOVE it!! As I can’t see all the shite play missed chances, poor positional sense etc! Instead I get swept away in the atmosphere, singing and banter!
So my friend, jjgsol, expecially, if you can, get to a game!! I fully recommend it buddy.
We can analyse and dissect the poor play on here all day long but at least we can have a good time LIVE AND DIRECT!!! At the match too! Even when we’re losing, the gallows humour and comeraderie is fabulous.
I really don’t enjoy watching games on TV, these days, but if I do watch a game, I definitely do switch off the commentators too, they’re so lazy, cliché ridden and generally hate Arsenal!!!
Have a fab weekend my fellow Gooners
Good man. Love your potential ” perspective” on a live game. Plenty of times in my sixty years of watching The Arsenal live, I would have been happy to put a blindfold on and rely solely on sound and atmosphere. Trust you wont take offense!
You must also be a master on your computer to produce the comments you make. Impressive, sir..
Ha, no offence taken my friend.
AFC needs to improve the midfield to increase our chances created, and what does our upper management do, they spend $50 mil + for a right back, and ship out a $29 mil cb who is deemed not ready.
Wonder if White is going to help contribute to 20+ goals to get us into the top four…
This team is going to play the most turgid futbol ever, yet have the best defense in the league, and place us at 10th in league at best because we can’t score any goals….
I suppose there are other ways to score goals? Utilising wide forwards and fullbacks to get forward, get behind defences and/or put in crosses… or have tricky wingers like Pepe, Saka, Martinelli to weave some magic…
Or from set pieces? Maybe Arteta is going for the latter Graham years vibe? 🤔🤣
Has anyone taken the time to check the issue of home-grown players. The rule has changed, more home-growns are required, which pushes the price of any ‘english labelled’ player up. So Saliba may be good, but he would be ‘taking the slot’ of any star yet to come into the team.
As far as I know, Bellerin counts as homegrown which makes him doubly valuable : he is a good RB, and if Arsenal were to sell him they either have to find another hoegrown to replace him, or if they take a ‘foreign’ player, they lose a player in their total number possible for the squad.
I do not believe the Arsenal backoffice are idiots. They have reasons and the most probable cause I see is this rule and all administrative issues coming from the Brexit which definitely impact recruitment. Contracts signed 2 years ago could not take into account legal issues that came up last year.
VintageFan – re Bellerin? Arsenal are reported to be “holding out” for a £15m fee. If that’s true it adds to to bewilderment I have mentioned when it comes to these decisions.
2 game we have been gifted a chance to score and our both striker cannot score
Wow will aubameyang ever score a goal again
How can Aubang be so out of form in front of goal? Frustrating, and it is NOT a case of not having chances made for him, so Mikel is not at fault.
So we cant score open goals and we cant defend corners. Not much to sort out pre-season Mikel!!🤬
Tavenier why don’t we get him if bellerin goes
Nothing to add to my last. Comparison with Hibernian is frightening. Tore them apart throughout second half. Cant score, cant defend set pieces. Fitness improving, results not. We need our spirits lifted, Arsenal.
I’m not overly fussed by pre season results. Ra gers are much further ahead in their fitness, we played 2 whole teams and players aren’t going to try as hard in pre season to avoid over exerting themselves and potentially getting injured.
Things will slowly improve and we’ve been creating lots of chances too!
Now White has signed (more or less), I hope he does well for us. I’ve been reading about him and he’s really well regarded by all the coaches and players he’s worked with.
I think with him, Holding, Gabriel and Mari we have a good crop of CBs.
How do you all and quite did last season for Brighton, I know the seeing he played for Leeds when day get promoted people were ranting and raving but I didn’t see much of that for Brighton
Good morning all. Since Argentina finally won a major tournament this century, probably the best game of the year and as nothing else was going on in the world of football since then, I’ve been focussed on the TDF.
But with Pogi guranteed victory and hopefully a Cav record breaking sprint into Paris, its a good time to turn back to the Arsenal.
With my glass half full next to me and as I adjust my rose tinted glasses, I have to say, I am liking what I am seeing in the pre-season and am excited in the season ahead.
Lets hope freedom day is a success and that 21/22 goes on with big crowds and no player illnesses etc.
40 years ago this weekend, Big Both and Willis produced our cricket sporting miracle.
I was well pissed off when Saliba was loaned to yet another French club (dunno if anyone noticed that?) 🤣 But it’s funny how quickly my outlook can change when it comes to Arsenal!
Now we’ve signed White I hope Gooners can get over themselves and welcome him to our club and see this is an excellent signing and a player who can improve both defence and attack (and our home grown quota to boot!).
Reading up on his attributes, stats and views of previous coaches, fans, managers and team mates, it seems as if we are getting a very talented player, leader, ball playing CB, who is fast, reads the game well, intercepts like a demon, stays injury free (now I’ve jinxed him!) and is adept at making accurate forward passes and dribbles too (not like I was doing last night after a few too many sherries!).
I think he will be a fantastic signing, one that adds a different dimension to the defence and team as a whole. Yes, it’s a big fee, but he’s young and English! Ake (not English and not very good) cost 40m, Stones (who has similar qualities to Benny White, White White!!!) cost City 50m about 3 years ago and how much was Maguire???
Obviously time will tell on this one, but for me at least, I’m happy to have him as a Gooner.
Enjoy your Sunday all.
Dexter.. love your 10.29 comment and I completely agree with you! 👍
Dexter, you are the man!! Like Sue, agree totally with your last, but have a question for the site. Even with the minimal sight we have had of him, and given his attributes as witnessed by both Leeds and Brighton and the England Manager , could Mikel be considering White as the holding midfielder that gives the defence extra security and ” creativity”), and frees up Partey. ( And that’s not a sentence you can make without a breath!)
Yeah that’s a good shout mate! I guess it depends whether Lockonga is deemed a starter straight away, and if we go back to Brighton for Bissouma!! 🤣
I think Lockonga may need some time, and perhaps with White we dont need an even more expensive Bissouma.
Lbg you really think partey can be a proper box to box lol, already told you willock is the only one we need
Oi you Fred, dont you lol me!
You will see this season that there is much more to come from Partey. He does not need to be a box to box player.
And……I predict they will sell Willock……and Bellerin…..and Martinez…….and Rams…..
@jjgsol I echo Dexter’s sentiments…get yourself down to a game.
I know a number of Orthodox Jews that are regular attendees to Arsenal. Saturday doesn’t seem to be an issue for them, but they’re probably not as observant as you are.
@Dexter I agree. I get far more enjoyment from attending the games than watching on TV. The ‘social’ aspect is what I look forward to most.
I am so confused as to why Saliba ruffles so many feathers?
If it wasn’t for the fee we would probably all agree that we have an exciting talent for the future on our hands although, of course, it is all about the fee. But isn’t it obvious that that was simply the going rate at the time.
The time I am talking about is when clubs were paying over 100 million for players. At this same time it was deemed, and understandably so, that for Arsenal to get top, top players into the club risks like Saliba had to be taken because 100 million purchases seemed way out of our league as they still do.
The irony is that he still looks like he is on his way to coming good.
I think if he was deemed anywhere near ready to become part of the 1st team squad he would either…
A. Be a part of the first team squad, or…
B. Be loaned to an English club, preferably a Premier League one.
Still seems as though he is on his way to coming as good, albeit a little slower, I suspect, than those who brought him hoped.
My opinion is if you could have shitty ass David luiz playing in your side then sure saliba ready
Saliba was bought under emery
I suppose when comparing all the first team games that David Luis played for Arsenal and all the games that Saliba played for the first team I can see how people could arrive at the view that the young Frenchman is ready to start the season as one of our principal centre backs.
Definitely the amount of mistakes luiz made, sure if saliba make those mistake it shouldn’t be a problem
Wanting Saliba to play because Luiz made mistakes doesn’t prove that Saliba is ready it just confirms what we all already know and that is that Luiz was accident prone.
Saliba continues his development at Marseille and will hopefully take his place at THOF in the near future.
No.23 Albert Sambi Lokonga (Belgium, age 21, 1.83m/6ft, CM/DM).
Just read the blurb from Arse.com and I’m wondering if he will go straight into the 1st team, alongside Partey (or Whillock!!)? That means we won’t be signing Bissouma!
For those of us who are so far out of the loop it doesn’t even join are we likely to make any other signings or does it seem as though the signing of Lokonga brings our transfer business to an end?
Well, I definitely ain’t in the loop! But I think given comments from Arteta and Edu and other factors, like the fact we had Ryan on loan, my guess is we could still see at least 2 more signings, after White.
A keeper and a number 10. And depending on whether Sambi is deemed a starter or not, maybe a DM (cough! Bissouma! Cough!)
I’ve seen lots of stuff about a new RB, but I don’t see that as a need. But that’s because I want AMN and Chambers as our 2 right (wing) backs, if Hector is actually leaving.
We were never going to sign bissouma, I think that more a transfer the fans wanted I think cause if we were I think it would have been already done just like the white transfer LBG could be right that he does play in midfield for us
Heard we are linked with RB this morning so it dependent on if bellerin leaves
Think arsenal trying to get relegated just to get a league trophy, link with ramsdale
The links to a new RB are lazy and baseless in my opinion. Just click bait for hungry Gooners starved of positive Arsenal news.
We’ve been linked with well over 100 players, which tells us exactly how spurious and dodgy transfer rumours are, in the main.
Inter Milan and Roma are using the Italian media, just like Real Madrid and Barcelona use their Spanish counterparts to unsettle players, or just let teams know whose available from their own squads!
Inter have acted unprofessionally and disrespected Arsenal in my opinion. Tapping up the player and via their media mouthpieces let it be known how much they want the player, how much he wants to join them, but cruel, nasty Arsenal are stopping his dream move, by not accepting Inter’s piss poor loan offer! The same applies with regard Roma and Xhaka.
Even former players and fan favourites get drawn into this stupid game. Ray Parlour (bless him) said today we need a RB and a striker FFS!!! Seriously Ray, a striker, really mate???
The floodgates have opened, LB.. expect the unexpected 😄
I don’t like the Ramsdale rumours (boo!!).. Aouar has popped up again… come August 31, I expect us all to be happy (& very satisfied) gooners!
With Sambi and soon-to-be White, I can’t wait to see the average age of our team!! 👍
Every except me sue would be happy, especially if bellerin and willock leave
Oh Fred 😢
My ideal RB scenario is Maitland Niles sees sense and becomes our 1st choice RB. If that occurs then I think we can sell Bellerin.
Whillock I really hope he stays as he has shown he can score goals from midfield, something we were lacking last season.
Dexter I have always said AMN should be our utility player, therefore RB LB or any where the coaches needs him but apparently he insists he must play CM
Willock I a quandary I believe he should be in the starting 11 but if he plays along side partey will he be given the same freedom as je did at Newcastle
News really want him on loan again next season also
Pete, for the record, an Orthodox Jew could not go to a Saturday game.
There are many religious infractions that he would have to be guilty of in order to do so.
However, there are Orthodox fans, I have a few friends in this group who have season tickets, but don’t use the Saturday ones, or dispose of them either to non-Jewish friends/colleagues or through the club.
The games I have visited in recent years have been by using their tickets when they could not.
I would not get my own because I cannot go to enough games to make it worthwhile, due to other commitments.
In any event, Arteta has so dampened my enthusiasm, I would not wish to go anyway.
The continued decimation of the squad is likely to result in further deterioration in the short term.
I wonder whether White, if he comes, and the other 2 really understand what will be expected of them.
Whether Arteta has the ability to create a great team out of the ruins created by himself, remains to be seen.
If he does it, I would acknowledge he may be a great manager. If not, I am likely to be supporting a championship side.
Well Fred, you seem to be the man with his finger on the pulse to close the loop for LB!!😁
“Arsenal were never going to sign Bissouma”.” A M-N to be our right back and keep Bellerin and Willock.”
What about Lacazette and Nelson?
Let us all in on your insider info links, please.
@jjgsol I will have to bow to your religious knowledge. I’m just repeating what they have told me (there is more than one). Maybe they have lapsed?
Their Arsenal credentials are good, that’s what matters to me.
I don’t understand how Inter Milan & Juventus are throwing money around on transfers. From the figures I see they are both in almighty trouble with their finances.
French football is about to fold, Barcelona & Madrid have huge debt problems and Italian football is as bent as it ever was. It seems that European football is about to implode. Hopefully it can suck corrupt Uefa down the hole at the same time.
The legendary Bob McNab, 78 today. Arsenal to the core. Happy Birthday, sir.
Did you decide to renew your season ticket in the end?
Blimey mate, it’s a shame your faith in Arteta isn’t as strong as your rigious faith.
Blimey! He has improved the squad already this closed season, with the promise of more signings. We should also see improvements in performances from the likes of Pepe, Saka, ESR and Gabriel.
Plus the team improved a lot after a shocking start.
I’m expecting top 4 next season.
From what I’ve seen Inter haven’t really spent qny money. They’ve sold a RB for €60m and are trying to Bellerin on loan the cheeky gits!!
Hi LB, hope your Summer has been good so far, given the mad World we are living in.
So, my Bros, Ant and I decided we would not renew for a second season given, distances travelled for games in case of him, and continued concern on my part of still catching the virus in my journey across Lindon on over and underground trains, despite being double jabbed, this upcoming season.
I however, dont really want to give up our seats completely at present. ( There has been a Vines, or four, holding season tickets at THOF continuously since 1958.) So I opted to take a second season holiday again as offered by the Club.
Chas, my other Bros, said there would be a catch!! There was!! The Club now says when the season 2022-3 starts they will not guarantee my current seats!
I currently sit in the front row of the upper tier and ” seats of an equivalent value”, which are not with guy and girls I have sat with for nearly 25 years ( some of those were with me in the North Bank), is NOT WHAT I WANT, OR EXPECT FROM MY CLUB).
I have been in detailed contact with Arsenal by e-mail, but so far no movement on their part.
Sorry for the long response. It has upset me considerably, and I hope for a change of heart from the Club by the end of next season.
My dear friend Dexter, I hope you do not object me to calling you that, as we have the same interest at heart, if you think the dross that was served up during the second half of last season as an improvement, then you really are the supreme optimist.
In the second half we progressed from 14/15th to 8th, were easily knocked out of all of the cups and barely managed a shot on target for most of the season.
Is that an improvement?
I dare say that there are still many fans who are still asleep from the soporific effect of Arteta’s style of play.
We have signed 3 players, a reserve left back, an expensive centre back we did not need and a midfielder barely out of his teens. Is that an improvement that should make us all excited?
At the same time, we seem to be losing Xhaka, a player who starred in the Euro, as well as academy graduates no worse, and arguably better than at least 2 of the players signed.
Once the new recruits realise that they are expected to do what they are told and when they are told to do it and will be shouted at all through the game, let us see how they manage.
I will reserve my judgement until the end of the coming season, that is provided Arteta is still there and I can keep awake during the games long enough.
Yes dear friend is more than acceptable! I like it!
I am indeed an optimism, during the close season at least! 🤣
I do think White will improve our team, defence and attack and if sign BISSOUMA and Aouar, we are set! A back up GK would be a good addition too.
Sure Tavares is back up LB, but he’s back up to a player who we lost for loads of games and now we’ve got decent cover.
I will not miss Xhaka as I’ve never rated him. He was a replacement when we didn’t manage to sign Kante!!! And the Swiss was neither a DM, or adequqte deep lying play maker. He will suit Serie A and good luck to him, when Roma cough up!
I’ve given Arteta the benefit of the doubt in terms of last season, primarily due to him winning the FA Cup, taking over a club that’s in a mess, just like Man United.
And that’s also where I see similarities, Solskaar was getting lots of calls to be sacked thru most of last season and the season before. He was accused of being out of his depth, playing a dull style of play. Basically everything Arteta has been. Artetas about a year behind Ole, so I expect similar development, not least because I rate Mikel higher than the man u dude!
If that doesn’t happen then I expect him to get the hoof. But I feel we should all get behind him and the team, until we’ve all decided he really is rubbish!!! 🤣🤣
Thank God ( of whatever colour) for the odd optimist on this site. Of course we have to wait and see, but travel positively is my motto.
Interesting, thanks for taking the time to respond, I am curious to see how the club sort this one out.
LBG that is a back hander from the club and has no apparent benefit to the club other than to upset very loyal fans, again.
Dexter, I agree that Arteta improved the team last season and early indications are, in my view, that the team will be even better next season. Top 4 is realistic.
That all said, I’m still not 100% convinced by Arteta but until Christmas, he is the best coach for us and I support him.
I believe there will be an improvement this season
Am truly sorry for your situation! Would turn me off as a fan forever,
sort of like a Rams fan who was promised their team would stay.
We are owned by a subhuman and it will not go away.
Hopefully, the optics are horrible for the club, and they will change their half mind.
Good luck mate!
Give us a bit more detail…………
You are very welcome to the best Arsenal blog in the business. COYG
@LBG that’s a dastardly move by the Club, but not surprising, unfortunately. Your seat , considering it’s in the front row, is a prized asset. That is how they see it. Give with one hand, take with the other.
I have renewed for the coming season, but my seat is in the ‘bleachers’ as my Yank family would call them.
It will be very interesting to see how many fans turn up to games. Lots will be, understandably, nervous about the virus. Many will have lost interest. Others may be reinvigorated. We’ll see.
I remember a time when teams arranging pre season matches in far flung countries were described as….
Pointless, cynical money making schemes, that would adversely impact the team and players preparations and potentially cause them unnecessary fatigue or even I jury.
However, after we heard how the club has sensibly cancelled its involvement in the Florida based tournament, I see the mass media describing it as putting Arsenal’s preparations into serious crisis, chaos, shambles, pick your own sensationalist adjective!!!
What a load of nonsense!!
Sorry for the lose of seat LBG, really hope they allow u to get it back and I understand how you feel
Sorry for the lose of seat LBG, really hope they allow u to get it back and I understand how you feel
Nice and concise! Always leave em wanting Moore! 🤣
The reason it is even more dastardly is, on the rare occasions my Bros and I couldnt go to a game, my seats, presumably partly because of where they are, were always snapped up. This means the Club will not be losing any money from my season ticket holiday and should be able to offer them to me again for next season.
I pointed this out of course in my emails and said the decision was even more unworthy of MY CLUB with which I have paid for season tickets myself since 2006.
Enough of moaning. Hopefully it will be reconciled to my liking next June.
Thanks all for concern expressed. COYG.
Thanks Dexter for your fine compost. It’s difficult to assess how much Edu and Arteta might be getting wrong. We have had a bad period in recent years and some signings that haven’t worked out or split opinion.
From a behavioral study point of view it then becomes easy to lump every decision that isn’t an immediate rip roaring success into the failed category, but can we really know this?
Should we automatically assume that Arteta’s decision that Saliba wasn’t ready is wrong? If he’s not wrong then what is the issue with him getting some valuable game time to further develop elsewhere before being asked to step up a level and into a more difficult league that is far less forgiving.
Would we want him to be exposed before he is ready and quickly deemed a failure and waste of money. Let’s face it us Arsenal fans have collectively become very quick to form a final judgement in recent years.
There are a couple that are far more obviously bad decisions. Of all of them I think the Martinez decision was the worst. Even if the gut feeling of the coaches was still towards Leno, Martinez had shown enough quality to ensure that any sale had a first option and / or buy back clause.
A straight sale with none of that in place with the form he had been showing was criminally negligent. Many other decisions have grey areas in them where there is still an argument that the decision wasnt totally unjustified. It doesn’t just happen with us and even managers like Fergusson got many decisions wrong.
Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing!?
I cannot believe that some Arsenal fans are still rattling on about Emi Martinez! We had 2 good GK’s and we were offered money that helped us buy Partey (a player that 90% of fans agreed we needed at that time). If Martinez drops off this year and Partey has a great season will we be saying it was a terrible decision? You win some, you lose some. Have transfers ever been any different!?
Really excited by the business done so far and the way the club are going about things. It’s amazing how short people’s memories are. Everyone seems to forget all the moaning about the club being indecisive and not willing to spend the cash, but when we do it they moan that we are wasting money or not going after the right players!
White looks an excellent signing. We’ve needed a ball playing CB for a while and he fits the bill. I also really like the Tavares signing as it gives us a lot of flexibility at LB/LCB with Tierney able to play in a back 3 when required.
Lokonga looks a gem. He’s strong for his age and is ready for first team football. I expect us to have a new look midfield this season with a lot more energy, youthful, and a side that is far more comfortable on the ball. With Torreira, Geundouzi, Ceballos, Odegaard, and possibly Xhaka on the way out, we are really short of numbers in the middle. There’s no way we can sort all our needs in this one window, so I expect Azeez to be promoted, Willock and AMN to stay, and then an attacking option and a CM option to be brought in. The rumours of Aouar, Maddison, Bissouma and Locatelli make sense on that front. I think Bellerin could leave to generate funds, with us already having Chambers, Cedric and now White (who has played RB for Brighton), but I don’t expect a replacement. We also need a GK but these rumours of £30m make no sense so I expect a cheap option for this year. It’s a shame Ryan wasn’t signed given that he only got a 2 year deal at Sociedad. Would’ve made sense to me.
We are not in Europe and haven’t looked a top side for a few years, so the fact we are going after young players with an upside makes sense to me. The manager will have plenty of time with these lads this year and I fully expect to see a difference in our game plan and our implementation on the field. For the most part we will have a week between games and if Arteta can create an atmosphere then it can reap dividends, but it’s just a shame that fans will be in the stadium as no doubt we will lose 1 or 2 games and our amazing fans will have had enough.
I had to laugh at the comment earlier on about the players wilting because they might be shouted at by the manager. It wasn’t long ago that fans wanted a new manager because Wenger wasn’t shouting at the players!!! 😂😂😂
If buts maybe FFG
The whole thing is a keeper who just won you a trophy and played so grate shouldn’t have been sold
Since Wenger left day have been making some of the the stupid transfer decision and none working out
30 mil for ramsdale a keeper who has been relegated twice in 2 season
Am not a executive but surely someone like navas or even buying back emi or how about letting Leno actually play the upcoming season
How many clubs has a great number 2 keeper but arsenal want to pay 30 mil for one
Every single transfer ever made has been an If/But/Maybe, but surely the least we can judge the club on is an ACTUAL transfer, rather than talking about The Sun transfer rumours. Have we bought a £30m Ramsdale!? No. Even if we do….he could go on to be our best ever transfer. Nobody knows.
An £11m Henry not scoring in his first 10 or so games now would be out on loan and never seen again.
FGG, I said at the end of last season that we would not be able to keep both keepers because both had become number 1’s and were no longer back up material.
A tough decision needed to be made and you could pick between Leno and Martinez on a fag paper. However I felt Martinez should have been the one to keep the number 1 gloves.
Firstly because he was the number 1 at the end of the season and had done nothing wrong. If anything he had been putting in performances that pretty much made him the best EPL keeper at that time.
It’s always unfortunate if you are the injured player and you recover from injury to find someone else has stepped in and proven themselves and you now have to wait your turn again.
The only time a player should waltz back into a team at the expense of another who has stepped in and proven themselves is if that player is so special that it’s a no brainer, but then you are talking the Messi’s and Ronaldo’s of this world.
Leno doesn’t fit this category especially in a quality comparison to Martinez. I think it sends out the wrong message if a long standing academy graduate who has bided their time and comes in to successfully prove themself is then shunted out again at the first opportunity. What message does that send out to our young players striving to break through?
Secondly my estimation of both keepers was that they were both of high quality but that Martinez just seemed a bit more suited to the EPL with a bit more size and asurity under a high ball.
Also, when comparing 2 overseas players I feel the one that has been here longer is far more likely to feel settled and at home here than the one who has arrived more recently. There was always a realistic risk that Leno would prefer a move abroad again sooner than Martinez who was more imbedded here
However, I accept that we needed to bow to the decision of the coaches that see these players week in week out. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t have handled it differently. With the form he was showing we should have had some clauses inserted in his sale.
FGG, your intimation is that Martinez was the only reason we were able to get Partey, so that justified his straight direct sale. How do you know this? What inside information on the clubs finances and financial structure do you have that confirms that we had to do a straight Martinez sale in order to get Partey?
I’m sorry FGG, I’m pretty forgiving in most cases and see the grey areas that make decisions hard at times, but the Martinez straight sale without any clauses was a massive error of judgement, and cannot be justified by passing it off as gaining us something else of far more importantance, especially when we realistically have no knowledge of these inner machinations of fluid finances as fans.
Well wouldn’t the other way to look at it be….who did we have a £17m bid for?
It wasn’t Leno.
£18m plus £2m add one according to Sky. A player who’d played 9 PL games aged 28.
Leno had played far more first team games and was the same age. Plus was an experienced international at the time.
This idea that it was a terrible decision is absolute nonsense. It made complete sense regardless of the Partey deal. It doesn’t need defending, and 12 months on Arsenal fans still moan about it and compare all other GK deals to it. It’s pathetic.
Personally, I wanted Martinez to stay cos we all like the shiny new toy and we all love the young kid come good who’s come through the ranks, but the idea that this transfer is some sort of tool to attack Arteta/Edu and the club is an absolute joke.
FGG seeing players perform and expect a different it absolutely madness
I watched a fair amount of football
Luiz I know he wouldn’t have help the side
Willian I know wouldn’t have help the side
Sokratis same as above
So for us to go an buy Ramsdale and to think je might actually come good is craziness
Unless arsenal main objective is to get relegated to championship so the could win a league trophy when day get promoted
FGG seeing players perform and expect a different it absolutely madness
I watched a fair amount of football
Luiz I know he wouldn’t have help the side
Willian I know wouldn’t have help the side
Sokratis same as above
So for us to go an buy Ramsdale and to think je might actually come good is craziness
Unless arsenal main objective is to get relegated to championship so the could win a league trophy when day get promoted
GB I disagree I think we could have kept both by making Leno number 2, and giving him cup games
That the thing I think most fans probably pissed, I know that the reason am pissed emi was one of our own, literally let him start of at number one and see how the goes that way you had nothing to lose
Especially after how he played in community shield
I admit the thing what probably made it a drastic decision was we didn’t have preseason last year so you really couldn’t get a threw feel of both keeper and made a proper decision, but knowing our track record of recent we probably would have still make the wrong decision
Fred give us a break from the Martinez gripes. As FGG says, it was not far short of a toss of a coin decision. Martinez wasnt prepared to be named as anything but No 1, so was sold. He did well for us briefly after many years of doing very little. He has done “well” recently for , still, a middle of the table team, Aston Villa, and his National team Argentina. Is he the best goalkeeper around? Not by a long chalk. Is Leno a disaster? Not by a long chalk! A bit of perspective and move on!
Is Bellerin worth £110, 000 a week? Not by a long chalk!
LBG.. Agreed! 10 months since he departed and I’m sick of hearing about it.. he’s gone, never to return. We have Leno, who is decent! Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.
30m for Ramsdale though? Sheesh… not happy with that at all. The Blades will be laughing all the way to the bank!
FGG. We can of course agree to disagree but just a couple of things. Firstly you kind of intimate that Martinez was the only viable one to sell because he was the only one we received a bid for. This would suggest that Villa randomly chucked out a bid without any knowledge or insight that he might be available.
I think it far more likely that the club told him he would be number 2 going into the following season and ge rejected this, feeling he was now a number 1 and told the club his intention to move on. Then his agent gets to work making known his availability and so Villa and others get wind of this.
Had we told Leno that Martinez would remain number 1 then I think the same thing would happen in reverse and then suitors would have presented themselves for Leno.
Secondly you also intimate that £18m plus small add ons was a good deal for a 28 year old. Maybe a 28 year old outfield player but a keeper is perhaps 5 to 6 years younger when assessing prime years. Martinez is only just coming into his prime. Time will tell whether the deal was a good one depending on what happens with Leno and what we spend on any incoming keepers.
Thirdly I notice this post is about discussing the club making good and bad decisions. I hadn’t realised that some decisions were off limits because it upset too many regulars on here. Perhaps the post should have been more specific and said this post is about discussing good and bad decisions but then listed which ones were ok for discussion and which ones were off limits.
Not trying to be pedantic……well actually I was 😎
You do know we aren’t signing Ramsdale for 30m and we haven’t and won’t be putting a bid in for him at anywhere near that right?
By the way, just because he’s been relegated doesn’t make him a bad player!
One last word on Martinez….
He had a year left on his contract, refused to compete for number 1 shirt and literally cried like a baby! We got 20m for him which is great business. The only thing Arsenal have done wrong is not have sorted a decent number 2 Keeper by now.
New No.10 Emile Smith Rowe, age 20, 1.82m/6ft (AM/CM/LM). (and a new 5 year contract, till 2026).
So Aston Villa, Birmingham Mail, cocky Villains you never had a chance. Emile Smith-Rowe is the future for Arsenal and Engand and he’s ours, so bog off.
Brilliant news about ESR!
And almost as good is the fact it’s shut down all the bollocks about how bad it is how Villa have made a bid or 2 for our young academy product.
Honestly there’s sooooo much negativity about Arsenal out there, while other clubs seem to be immune from the same shit (cough*spuds*cough) 🤣
Best news of the day!! Roma have agreed a fee.
I wonder who the new whipping boy will be? There’s a new post in there somewhere.
My guess LB, would be Ramsdale, if by any ridiculous quirk of fate ( piece of stupidity)we pay £32m for him OR , I am sorry to say possibly Tammy Abraham’s, who I am not convinced by, despite the statistics, and is another potential Chelski reject failure. Hope not, in the case of Abraham’s.
For any with memories that go back, like me, highly recommend ” Highbury Memories” . Published by Football World June 2021. Arsenal supporters sharing their views on THE Home of Football. Brilliant!
48 years ago today THE man signed professional forms for THE Arsenal. We will always remember your contribution, Liam Brady, to our Club.
The 1979 FA Cup final is the 1st big footballing event I remember, I’ve expunged the previous year from my memory banks!
What a final, the excitement, the tension, Sunderland perm!
It’s added special place in my heart was it meant we put one over Lou Macari and Gordon McQueen…. two ginormous twats!!!
Ooh what a feeling…. when the sad loser Mancs kept appealing (for offside!!) 🤣🤣🤣
You are a mere stripling. The first major football event I remember was my first trip to The Home of Football 1961-2.
By 1979 I was married and had a beautiful daughter who, whilst her Dad, Grandad, and two Uncles went to Wembley to see, amongst others, the legend that was Liam Brady, ( and the Perm, of course) and a famous victory over Manure, was being baby sat by her Auntie who taught her to say “Arsenal” during the afternoon. ( Not her first word, (her Mother would have killed me), but pretty close!🤣)
That’s a great story mate!!!
My dad was from Kentish Town, while my mums family were brought up in West Londons.
My dad, his dad and his dad were all Gooners apparently!! There was never any doubt who I’d end up supporting!
The last couple of years have made me wonder how those, who were soooo intent on wanting Wenger out, feel about that now?
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and expecting some of those who wNting the great man gone, to reflect and wonder that perhaps, he actually STILL was doing a good job and helping Araenal punch above their weight?
Don’t get me wrong, I think he made poor decisions, had too much power and some of the signings seemed like vanity projects as he seemed hell bent on single handedly ridding English football of cloggers and the need for brick shit houses!! Unfortunately all the other teams weren’t on board with his vision!! So our lightweight midfielders tippytapped around the pitch before getting kicked up in the air!
Anyhoo it’s just a thought. I wonder when Gooners will give a coach the time to bed in his vision, philosophy and assemble his own team. Its an old cliche, but Ferguson took 3 years to win over the Manu fans.
Arteta needs at least this season. Any less and we’re likely to end up needing 2 coaches a season if we get into that kind of pattern of behaviour.
Here’s how I want the squad to look….
Goal keepers: Leno, NOT Ramsdale!
RB: AMN, Chambers
LB: Tierney, Tavares
CB: Holding, White, Mari, Gabriel
DM: Bissouma, Sambi
CM: Partey, Whillock
AM: ESR, Aouar
LFW: Pepe, Martinelli
RFW: Saka, Auba
CF: Auba, Lacazette, Balogun
Players to sell/loan/pay off/sedate, bundle into the back of a van and dump somewhere off the M4…
Cedric, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Willian, Nelson, Nketiah,. Ideally I’d try and extend the deals of the last 2 and Loan out.
Love your squad. Hope we can get Bissouma and, if the price is right Aouar. Think he will sell Willock and I would keep Elneny. Think the last two you would extend and loan will go at end of window, probably on the cheap.
Those with a memory of 70s football should try to listen to ” My Sporting Life- Paul Marriner”, one of the better things on Talkshite!!
Bolton born Paul was a true football legend. Part of a marvellous Ipswich Town team under Bobby Robson, which smashed us in the ’78 FA Cup Final, and went on to be one of the most talented teams of that era.
Then, in the twilight of his years, Marriner came to OUR Club. Played with the likes of Jennings, Sansom, Talbot, Nicholas and Woodcock. Not much other than Cup runs to excite in this era, but an honest, hardworking striker who never let us down. Old school football.
Any thoughts on Leo Dubois, the Lyon right back, as a potential replacement for Bellerin. I like Aarons but think he will come out too expensive for us in the end.
Forget Locatelli, Maddison and even Aouar, let’s push Azeez forward, Mikel and save millions.
Azeez is more of a defensive minded midfielder, there’s more to his game, but he’s not comparable with Maddison or Aouar.
I hope he develops, goes out on loan and becomes a regular 1st teamer at the Arsenal.
Happy Birthday, Martin Keown….and you still didnt wack that cheating Dutchman hard enough!
Maybe not yet Dexter! I am also surprised at your ” defensive” comment…not what I’ve seen.
Youtubers…relatively new compilation of Chippy Brady’s top goals and skills, available. Check it out! Praise the King of them all!
According to twitter we won 4-1
I’m just going off the profiles ive read and the lad himself! He models his game on Barca’s Buscquets! Which I’m happy about as we rarely seem to produce defensive minded players.
I was going to thank you for the game info, Sue, and repeat my praise that you are always very knowledgeable — and then you told us the score!! Wicked — very wicked!! 🙄
How are my favourite camels getting on?
Anyway, I still love the sophistry you employ on AA, although I suspect you meant “Post” back on the 21st June, when you complemented Dexter, and that ‘compost’ was a slip of the camel’s tongue — I told you that you had to blow the pipe from the other end!! 😁
Hello RA.. 🤠 but I didn’t reveal who scored 😉
Hope you’re well, it’s been a while..
“Oh Sambi, Sambi, what a change for us in the Arsenal midfield”.
Minimal touches, and most, dynamic and FORWARD. Welcome to our Club and a new era of attacking football without a horseshoe in sight!!
AND…..the real men of the the UK and Ireland beat the Springboks. Go Lions!
Balogun goal was a brilliant piece of one touch football. Keep it up Gunners, good omens for the new season, even if it was Milwall.
Article from skysports:
“Arsenal have brought in Nicolas Jover, formerly of Manchester City, to replace their departing set-piece coach Andreas Georgson.”
“Jover is now joining a side who conceded the fewest set-piece goals in the Premier League last season, thanks in part to the work done by his predecessor, Georgson, who has returned to former club Malmo a year after becoming Arsenal’s first set-piece coach.
But efficiency at the other end of the pitch remains an issue for the Gunners – they only scored six goals from set-pieces in the Premier League last season – and they are not the only ones.
In fact, set-piece goals have been in decline in the Premier League since Opta started collecting the data in 2007.
Last season, the percentage of goals scored from dead-ball situations (excluding penalties) stood at just 19.2 per cent – down from 28.5 per cent in the 2009/10 campaign and the lowest number on record.
The margin for improvement is there to be exploited.”
“Mads Buttgereit, a set-piece coach working with the Danish national side during Euro 2020, attributes declining numbers of set-piece goals partly to improved goalkeeping but more significantly to a dearth of top-quality takers. He mentions James Ward-Prowse as one and Denmark duo Robert Skov and Mikkel Damsgaard as others. “But then,” he says, “it starts to get hard to find the good shooters.”
He points out that Damsgaard’s strike against England was the only direct free-kick goal at Euro 2020 and insists the importance of technique is too often overlooked.
“If I was to go into a new club, for sure I would try to teach the top-spin technique on free kicks instead of side-spin,” he says. “You would then have fewer balls going into the wall or over the bar because the top-spinner moves up and then dips again.
“It’s a difficult technique to learn and maybe that’s why there aren’t so many who can do it. At Midtjylland, though, there are players who are very, very good at it, and that’s because they have practiced it from the youth all the way up to the first-team.”
It is another reminder of the importance of patience and perseverance when it comes to set-piece improvement but those two qualities are in short supply in modern-day football.
Jover, for example, has already found his role coming under scrutiny from some Arsenal supporters after the side conceded three goals from corners in their first two pre-season friendlies.
“If that’s the response, it’s because they don’t understand the mechanisms of it,” says Buttgereit.
“It’s not an instant fix. Arsenal and Manchester United will not suddenly become better at set-pieces if the people around Nicolas Jover and Eric Ramsay don’t buy into it. They need to help them and they need to be patient, to give them a chance to do a lot of things.
“With Denmark, at the tournament we just had, we would not have been successful from set-pieces if all the coaches and players had not supported what we did and the way we practiced.”
It is just another lesson for those seeking to emulate them.”
There are so many specialized coaches now. It s amazing but the proof is in the pudding so if we do score more on set-pieces and concede less on set-pieces, then it would have been a good investment
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