Happy as a Mad Brazillian?

August 9, 2019

I said before the window that our 2 main areas of concern last season were the defence and the attacking midfield areas. Fast forward a couple of months and we’ve signed 3 defenders and 3 attacking players.

Very, very happy.

I cannot wait to see Pepe and Tierney in the side and Luiz and Ceballos should get plenty of games too and improve on what we have. Martinelli has looked capable in pre season and should develop, and hopefully Saliba will be first team ready when he arrives next summer.

We’ve gotten rid of a few fringe players in Bielik, Jenkinson and Ospina, aswell as seeing Iwobi, Ramsey and Koscielny leave. However, none of those losses feel too hurtful as we’ve known about Ramsey for a while, Koscielny is no longer what he once was, and Iwobi just didn’t seem to be developing. I really like the Nketiah loan deal to Leeds too and it would be fantastic if he could fire them into the PL and earn himself another 12 months their next season to see if he’s ready for the top flight.

A net spend of around £80m and a feeling that we’ve strengthened our attack significantly whilst managing not to make an already porous defence weaker despite losing our captain. We’ve even managed to look to the future with the signings of Saliba and Martinelli, aswell as the integration into the first team of Willock, Nelson, Martinez and Saka.

A very successful summer from the Arsenal hierarchy. The addition of Edu and the work that’s been done by the transfer guru’s might have just started to repair what was a crumbling relationship between the fans and the men at the top. It looks like we will be an exciting team to watch this season and I can’t wait for the football to start.

Over to Unai to make Arsenal great again!

fatgingergooner

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Dani Ceballos … the ‘Real’ Deal

July 25, 2019

The smoke has turned into fire … any moment the club will announce that Dani Ceballos has joined Arsenal from Real Madrid on a one year loan deal.

The exact details of that deal are not known, the optimists will hope that there is an option to buy at the end of the 12 months … I very much doubt it, Real Madrid are not in the habit of letting developing talent go cheaply.

Ceballos is not Denis Suarez. He’s already proven quality. He has very good close control. He can weave through a defence and find a killer pass, he is a free kick specialist … he scores goals.

Feast your eyes on this  … but a note of caution, no-one can know how he will adapt to the EPL. He’ll get a kicked all over the park if he starts embarrassing opposition players as easily as you’ll see in this video ….

Dani was being courted by many top clubs and should already assume hero status by virtue of choosing The Arsenal over ‘that lot down the road’.

The boring stuff:

  • He’s 22, a Spanish national who has represented them at U19s, U21’s and in the full national side
  • He’s 5ft 10in, a midfielder who can play in several positions but is most effective in the advanced role of a No. 10.
  • He joined Sevilla as a youngster, signed his first professional contract with Real Betis and joined Real Madrid in 2017

There is no doubt that Arsenal are restricted in what they can spend. The loan deal for Ceballos (effectively coming on a free for the year) to some extent balances the plan to sign William Saliba and then send him back on loan. That deal involves delayed payment and so much of our £45m mini war chest remains … currently it may be in the region of £39m if you deduct the £6m paid for Martinelli.

Make no mistake, this is progress. We are getting a player who will significantly improve the quality of the squad. Ceballos is a Real Madrid player and a Spain International. The new management team have pulled off a major coup … the Saliba deal is all but in the bag … what next I wonder? … Would a centre back be too much to ask?

Rasp

 

 

 

 


William Saliba … Great! … but what about the here and now?

July 10, 2019
There is a mini furore among some Arsenal fans over Leicester’s signing of Youri Tielemans from Monaco for a club record fee believed to be £40m. This takes City’s summer spending to nearly £80m, twice the reported budget Arsenal have to play with. The feeling is that Tielemans is just the sort of player Arsenal need.

Tielemans is 3 months older than Ainsley Maitland Nyles!!!

I’m all for youth, but who are they learning from? I do like the idea of UE snapping up these young players like Martinelli and Saliba, but a club of our size should be doing that whilst at the same time bolstering the first team squad. If UE wants to be around to see these players progress then he better start improving the first team, because the likes of Leicester and Wolves will be catching us at this rate.

The defence has been a shambles for years, yet we seem to do nothing about it. Sure, there’s a world shortage of CB’s, but you’ve got to buy a ticket to win the lottery. The defence won’t improve if we sit back and do nothing (which is what it looked like last season). It’s like we got burnt with Mustafi and so we’ve stopped trying. Cut your losses, get £20m for him, and try again.

There are 2 key areas we failed last season, CB and AM. I don’t doubt Zaha would be exactly what we need in that he’s got that unpredictability that we lack, but if we can’t afford him then why embarrass ourselves? Go buy what you can afford and hope the youngsters can fill the other gaps. There’s far more potential in Nelson, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe than in that CB group. £40-£50m could get us a decent CB.

Sokratis and Koscielny are our best 2 CB’s, so why people want Koscielny to go is a strange one for me. Yes, he’s getting on, but he’s still top 2 in our side. That’s not a compliment to him by the way, more a realisation of just how poor we are in that position. Holding is coming off a serious injury, Chambers has proven himself far better at HM than he’s ever looked at CB (thank god as he was very average at CB!), Monreal is a LB regardless of what anyone says and wouldn’t get anywhere near any other top 10 PL first team playing as a CB, Mavropanos has played a handful of games so it’s far too early to judge him, and the less said about Mustafi the better I think.

You can work on shape and defensive attitude all day, but sometimes you just have to accept the players aren’t good enough and move on. Personally, I’d be selling Mustafi and Monreal. I’d bring in Tierney and look for a big name CB. I’d be using Chambers in midfield, and I’d give cup game opportunities to Mavropanos and Bielik (shame he wants out as he looks one of our more promising CB prospects).

fatgingergooner