Is Mustafi Arsenal’s Most Important Signing?


With very minor exceptions the signing of Shkordan Mustafi, 2 days before deadline day, was met with the usual sensationalist delight by the mainstream media. Most reveled in Arsenal’s contribution to English football setting a new transfer record of £1.2b this past window.

In terms of footballing analysis most saw it simply as Wenger turning to Mustafi to ease his defensive crisis. According to Sky Sports:

The £35m fee is considerable. But it might just be money well spent. Mustafi has the quality to be a significant upgrade on Gabriel Paulista and with Mertesacker turning 32 this month, there’s a vacancy to be filled. 

Very few of the pundits seem to look beyond the price tag, Tom Adams of ESPN seemed unto something when he observed that:

In such lavish times, it is possible to miss the importance of a transfer fee even as high as the £35m Arsenal have reportedly paid for the 24-year-old Mustafi, who became the second signing of the most expensive day in Wenger’s career with the earlier capture of Spanish forward Lucas Perez for £17m making Arsenal’s total outlay on Tuesday a cool £52m. These are not the biggest deals of the summer by any means. Yet in particular, the signing of Mustafi from Valencia is hugely significant.

Yes the transfer is considerable based on the past five years of signings by Wenger:

2013-14 Mesut  Ozil        42,500,000
2014-15 Alexis Sánchez        35,000,000
2016-17 Shkodran Mustafi        35,000,000
2016-17 Granit Xhaka        33,800,000
2012-13 Santi Cazorla        20,000,000
2014-15 Calum Chambers        16,000,000
2014-15 Danny Welbeck        16,000,000
2012-13 Olivier Giroud        13,000,000
2011-12 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain        12,000,000
2014-15 Mathieu Debuchy        12,000,000
2012-13 Lukas Podolski 11,000,000
2011-12 Gervinho        10,600,000
2011-12 Mikel Arteta        10,000,000
2011-12 Per Mertesacker        10,000,000
2015-16 Petr Čech        10,000,000
2012-13 Nacho Monreal          8,300,000
2011-12 André Santos          6,200,000
2015-16 Mohamed Elneny          5,000,000
2014-15 David Ospina          3,000,000
2011-12 Park Chu-Young          3,000,000
2011-12 Joel Campbell             950,000
2011-12 Thomas Eisfeld             475,000

The ESPN man did not need to be a rocket scientist when noting:

Over the past five years Not only is the German the joint second most expensive signing in Arsenal’s history, along with Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka, he is also the most expensive defender Wenger has signed by some distance, his fee dwarfing the £16m paid for Calum Chambers two summers ago.

But then his analysis stopped short, restricting himself to the conclusion that:

It is … a riposte to the very vocal elements of the support who have demanded that Wenger spend some money. This summer, Wenger cannot be accused of going AWOL in the transfer market or treating the club’s vast resources like his last tranche of personal savings. The best part of £90m has been spent on new players. Arsenal have not stood to the side, holding their nose in disgust while other clubs have indulged in an orgy of greed; they have, belatedly, become willing participants.

We at PA cannot restrict ourselves to such trite analysis. As my investment advisers would warn, beware of cherry-picking of data “to reinforce emotional responses”.

Many of us are now increasingly aware that Wenger has been rebuilding a squad that can truly compete for the title. He has been ruthless and deliberate. Note that of the class of 2011-12, with the exception of Mertesacker and The Ox, none of the others have made the cut for 2016-17. They have either been sold, loaned or let go as their contract expired.  Meanwhile forwards, midfielders and goalkeeping positions have been reinforced by very capable, experienced players. Ozil, Sanchez and Cech are indisputably among the very best, to use that hackneyed phrase, world-class. Why therefore such a heavy expenditure on a defender?

The key can be found in the data from my last blog when I compared Wenger’s Highbury vs Emirate years.

Highbury Years

96-97 19 11 8 62 32 30 68 3
97-98 23 9 6 68 33 35 78 1
98-99 22 12 4 59 17 42 78 2
99-00 22 7 9 73 43 30 73 2
00-01 20 10 8 63 38 25 70 2
01-02 26 9 3 79 36 43 87 1
02-03 23 9 6 85 42 43 78 2
03-04 26 12 0 73 26 47 90 1
04-05 25 8 5 87 36 51 83 2
05-06 20 7 11 68 31 37 67 4
Mean Avg 23 9 6 72 33 38 77 2.0

Contrary to current mythology, at Highbury we were never a rampant, free flowing goal-scoring machine. We only averaged 1.9 goals per game in 10 years under Wenger. In fact those seasons when we scored a relative avalanche of goals, 85 in 02-03 and 87 in 04-05, we failed to win the title. What was distinctive at the old ground was the meanness of our defending; averaging a measly .87 goals per game in those halcyon years. The most impressive year was in 98-99 when we allowed in a mere 17 goals for the season vs a paltry 59 GF, coming 2nd. Boring old Arsenal, eh.

I am very struck by the fact that after conceding an economical 36 goals in 01-02, to win the title, Wenger and Dein latched unto Sol Campbell’s desire to free himself from the hell-hole at the Lane. The rest we all know is history. What is not as well-known is The Invincibles let in a measly 26 goals, an average of 0.68 per game. They only scored 73. Compare and contrast with the barren period that followed.

Emirate Years

06-07 19 7 11 63 35 28 68 4
07-08 24 11 3 74 31 43 83 3
08-09 20 12 6 68 37 31 72 4
09-10 23 6 9 83 41 42 75 3
10-11 19 11 8 72 43 29 68 4
11-12 21 7 10 74 49 25 70 3
12-13 21 10 7 72 37 35 73 4
13-14 24 7 7 68 41 27 79 4
14-15 22 9 7 71 36 35 75 3
15-16 20 11 7 65 36 29 71 2
Mean Avg 21 9 8 71 39 32 73 3.4

Shock, shock, shock. The defending at Ashburton Grove is far from the high standards of Highbury, deteriorating by 18% between eras from an average 33 to 39 GA. Currently we are easily allowing in one goal per game compared to 0.87 at Highbury. In contrast goal scoring had a mere decline of 2.7% between eras. As a result average Goal Difference (GD) between eras fell from 38 to 32, a 15% deterioration.

After the club let in four goals at home vs Liverpool on the season-opener, is it any wonder Mustafi started vs Southhampton at the first opportunity. Now it makes sense Wenger decided that, despite a hefty £16 million investment in Callum Chambers, it was better to pack him off to Middleborough to complete his education. Obviously, like Sol Campbell, Mustafi is not only one for the future, he is for the present. In the words of Arsene:

“He is at the right age. He has good experience. He is a very focused player who can play with the ball as well. We have taken a great player but have prepared well for the future.”

Finally, let me remind you that in 07-08, when in my opinion we posed our last real challenge for the title, we let in a measly 31 goals for the season or 0.82 per game. So far after four games we are 6 GA or 1.5 per game. Clearly we have some ways off in getting anywhere close to 0.87 but it is still early days. But the data is compelling; lowering the GA is the key to why Mustafi could be our most important signing.

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52 comments on “Is Mustafi Arsenal’s Most Important Signing?

  1. Another master class in cold analysis Shotts – is it any wonder that the site passed 1.2 million views over night with quality product like this ?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks Shotta: serious stuff to start the week with. Now if only Steve’s travelling companion were to read this instead of relying on Talksport……

    Liked by 4 people

  3. A proportion of goals conceded in 07-08 came late in the season too.

    Midfield was predominately composed of senior CMs, not rookies as in the season after, yet during that following period the experts chose to repetitively lambast and scapegoat the experienced CBs go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shotts,

    Ramsey is still here!


  5. Enjoyed the read, along with Mustafi,Holding and Xhaka added in this transfer window and Elneny in January and Cech last summer there has been an considerable improvement to the defence.
    In both the first team and the squad there seems to be the players to cover squad rotation and injuries. (Let’s hope injuries drop to Leicester like levels)
    According to your stats we are well placed to in prove our goals against this season and have a real tilt are winning PL fingers crossed.


  6. Interesting article Shots. Thanks


  7. Bailly, who has been hyped to no end, made two colossal errors which cost MU the game against City. Stones is almost as slow as Mertesacker. Rashford made him look like a statue all the while he was on the pitch. Conte is relying on a pair of older, slower defenders as is the case with Cahill and Terry. I would love to see the WOBs complain about the five outstanding CBs we have in our squad.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. just a couple of things shotta

    santi did not cost us £20m, nothing near it, closer to £12M, we had tried for him the summer before and big spending Malaga blew us out of the water, a year later and big spending Malaga were bust, and we got him for a steal. Arshavin remained our record deal till Chambers, then Ozil. Santi’s fee did not even surpass former record signing Wiltord’s fee.

    on your data, have you the stats for goals scored and conceded at Highbury and Emirates only, it would be interesting to see how we compared home and away, has the larger playing area at the Emirates seen us score or concede more or less or the same. Has the trend of bus parking at the Emirates caused us the biggest problem. Its certainly something I do not recall seeing as a tactic from visiting teams at Highbury, and time wasting also seems to be more prevalent too

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 2h2 hours ago Blackburn, England
    “we don’t even play good football , we were crap v Saints”
    What about the previous game v Watford?
    “Shut up you deluded Wenger lover”
    Ok !

    spot on george, I’ve seen that little soundbite so many times since saturday its unreal, but if watford is mentioned then its either ignored, or written off as Watford should have scored a couple more goals, or watford are shite etc etc. Everytime we play well its due to the opponents being shite, and when we don’t play well its all down to Arsenal being shite. Or maybe its just a shite view held by idiots who want to have something about Arsenal to complain about.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. for fucks sake, just seen that Irish TV tomorrow is showing Barcelona v Celtic, and not the PSG v Arsenal game, I will have to watch it on a stream, I had wondered if the Man City game would get picked ahead of AFC, but to have them show Barca v Celtic, is a real joke,


  11. reports this morning that Koscielny was in full training today, and that Ramsey and Debuchy in light training. So only Per and Danny not in training as of yet.


  12. afcstuff@afcstuff
    Wenger on Coquelin yesterday: “He had a great second half. We adjusted our position in the second half, he became stronger & stronger.”

    but the experts told us he was shite


  13. stole this from someone else,

    Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is correct that BPL defenders are targeting Diego Costa, they are doing so by ramming their faces into his elbows and by not fouling him so his dives look bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. the new stand at Anfield

    Liked by 1 person

  15. EveryFan ‏@EveryFan 24h24 hours ago
    Did you know: Aston Villa vs. Nottingham Forest is the first time two former European Cup winners have met in the second tier…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. James Maw ‏@JamesMawFFT 25m25 minutes ago
    Danny Rose being in the Metro’s Team of the Week and leading their Player of the Week poll despite not playing seems absolutely just to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    by jeorge bird

    Arsenal held their final first-team training session today ahead of tomorrow night’s opening Champions League group stage fixture away to Paris Saint-Germain, with youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles in attendance.

    The prospect was hugely impressive for the U23s against Derby County on Friday and could feature in the EFL Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest next week.

    Chuba Akpom was also back training with the senior squad, while Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Debuchy have returned to light training.

    Gabriel continued to train with the squad and Laurent Koscielny was fine to participate despite suffering an injury against Southampton. Former player Robert Pires also trained.

    Yaya Sanogo is still out injured, along with Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck.

    Players in training today: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Perez, Ospina, Holding, Elneny, Giroud, Xhaka, Iwobi, Sanchez, Martinez, Gabriel, Akpom, Maitland-Niles, Pires, Gibbs.

    Light training: Ramsey, Debuchy.

    Jeff Reine-Adelaide didn’t train with the squad today as he is instead set to play for the U19s against PSG in the UEFA Youth League tomorrow.
    Freddie Ljungberg coached the U19s in training today.

    Possible U19 team:

    Keto; Johnson, Bielik, Da Graca, M. Bola; McGuane, Sheaf; Nelson, Reine-Adelaide, C. Willock; Mavididi. Subs: Virginia, T. Bola, Pileas, Malen, Nketiah, DaSilva, Mourgos.


  18. 18 years ago today Arsenal signed Freddie Ljunberg, and today he was coaching the Arsenal U19’s for tomorrow’s YCL game v PSG U19’s

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Another illuminating piece Shotta, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Eddy at 11:42am – All my data on transfers are from http://www.transferleague.co.uk. I had my doubts on their numbers for Santi but to be fair to them to this day the fee is undisclosed. Typical, bloody Arsenal does not give away trade secrets. Other questions have arisen about long term squad members since 2011-12 are still around such as Ramsey, Walcott et al. Note I am only using data on transfers for the past 5 years, when the club really became more active in the market, after a period of strict austerity.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Fins and all of us who used to frequent that other blog: Do you remember back in the day the good and the great attacking Wenger as a poor defensive coach, i.e. for emphasizing attack over defense? The data from Highbury simply destroys that canard.
    The other piece of bogus propaganda was the constant vilification of William Gallas as a poor defender especially by the SOD blog. Truly amazing are the truths served up by unbiased data. In his tenure in 07-08 we only conceded 0.81 GA, heights never remotely attained in 8 subsequent years.
    Finally, as I remarked, there is a well established myth among bloggers and pundits that at Highbury we were an offensive juggernaut which has run adrift at the Emirates because we lack a world class striker. In a word, rubbish. We simply don’t defend as well as we once did.

    Never forget: In the silent statistical world there are no headlines, no emotions, no narratives, just data.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Nice one Shotta – and I’m glad you picked up on the small matter of Arsene spending £52M in one day, recently!

    Of course, with the volumes being shunted around elsewhere at the time, it didn’t really seem SUCH a big deal.

    But you’re right, it was.

    The season we let in just 17 goals was one of the most remarkable in the club’s history – I think we let in 3 in the last couple of games or so, if memory serves. It was just extraordinary. What was more remarkable was that though that was the stand-out season in terms of goals conceded, we’d enjoyed a period of years in which the famous back five had brought the word ‘parsimony’ back into fashionable use. To end up one year only letting in 17 was no real surprise.

    And THAT’S extraordinary.

    So yes, Wengerball, free-flowing tactics, and high-scoring games is what we associate with the French Master. Yet his most successful period was the one when we weren’t scoring all that much – because we never had to.

    And here’s the rub – which your article does so well to make clear. With the majority of our Premier League opponents employing bus-based tactics, scoring three or four goals a game has become ever more difficult. So today, it’s become critical to concede ever- fewer goals. It’s the (goal) difference, stupid!

    The sums spent on Mustafi and Holding are therefore hugely significant.

    People don’t tend to talk of ‘the Bould effect’ so much these days but I do wonder if in fact these purchases are the ultimate embodiment of Steve’s influence on his boss’s thinking.

    Great article Shotts.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Marvellous stuff Shotta.

    I’m a bit surprised to see in the one season where we-have-not-replaced-RVP finally turned up for the Arsenal after years of absence, we only scored 72 goals. We definitely haven’t been worst off since.

    On the GA, I think with the way footie has evolved over the last 5 years a return of 35 will be title challenging stuff. Something I think our beefed up defence will be up to.

    A GA of 6 thus far after 4 games is not poor considering we only let in 2 in the last 3 after the goal fest on opening day. No doubt we’ll make up ground in the GD as the boys play more games together.

    Another thing I noticed is that Arsenal scored more goals than Manutd’s “feared attack” in the 4 games. We definitely need a striker right Wright?

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Shotta and Eddy – re your earlier conversation about fees.
    Bearing in mind that I have a famous aversion to studying the minutiae of transfers and as such my knowledge is weak, shaky, and unreliable, I was under the distinct impression that Arsenal never disclose the fees they pay for players. Is that not so? If so how do these figures end up in circulation? They must surely be invented. Can anyone point to a reliable i.e first hand source?


  25. selling clubs sometimes reveal the amount they got – as is the case with Lucas and Mustafi, and was the case with the likes of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla, and afc do reveal overall transfer spend, both incoming and outgoing, we also have it that agents often reveal bits about deals, such as the agent who has out a book at the moment and he reveals a fair bit of info about the Arshavin signing, which again we were told by some bloggers was a last minute panic signing, while the agent reveals we had been in talks with AA and his club for months, and even had a contract agreed with AA’s agent in November, and as was revealed in the days after the deal, the agent confirmed that AFC had trouble to finance the extra £500K needed to get the deal done. The agent revealed that Arsenal’s first bid was £8M, and little by little AFC went to over £14M, and several different approaches were used to try and get the deal done, but Zenit dug their heals in and there was a shortfall of half a million right into the last hour of the deal, and eventually Arsenal found a way to finance the extra money.
    Coupled with the revelation that Arsenal came within weeks of being unable to pay the wages of the invincibles in 2004, and how a fee less than £16M for Arshavin was causing real money problems, it really does show how handicapped Arsenal were from the start of the Emirates project, up till 3 or 4 years ago. But uber bloggers keep telling us that we could have spent £200M more from 2006 to 2010.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. also steww, sometimes Wenger or Gazidis let it slip about a fee, if I remember correctly that is what happened with Cazorla, when some journo said to AW we paid £20M for SC, and Wenger said we were outbid the year before on that kind of fee, but that we got him for less than we paid for Wiltord, and when pushed he said £12M, I would say it was 2 years ago Wenger let it slip.

    now of course some selling clubs claim more than they actually got for a player, to try and placate angry fans for the club selling one of their favorites, and there is also sometimes reports that make the deal bigger by adding in wages for the entire duration of initial contract

    Liked by 3 people

  27. In other words “we don’t have a clue how much was paid for whom”?

    Liked by 2 people

  28. last season afc finished second, and the last time we finished second was 2004/05,

    in both seasons we conceded 36 goals, but while it was 11 at home and 25 away last season, it was 19 at home and 17 away in 04/05. Does that suggest that teams are not as attacking now as they were 11 years ago. by the way we lost 3 games at home last season, compared to 1 in 04/05, despite conceding 8 fewer goals. Draws 4 last season compared to 5.

    Goals scored was way down last season, 65 compared to 87 in 04/05, so 22 goals less last season. Last season 31 at home and 34 away, while in 04/05 it was 54 at home and 33 away. So a massive drop of 23 goals less at home, almost the exact difference, for me its down to the park the bus approach that is now common place for visiting teams to employ at the Emirates, and which I don’t recall being often used by teams at Highbury.

    Despite the 22 extra goals scored in 04/05, we only picked up an extra 4pts at home compared to last season.

    We picked up an extra 8pts away in 04/05, with one less goal scored, but with 8 less goals conceded. This one fact alone seems to suggest that Shotta’s point that Mustafi is the crucial signing is correct.


  29. as I pointed out george, our accounts are made public, and over all transfer spend is revealed so we do have more than a clue, and as clubs we buy players from also often make their accounts public a lot of the info is out there. Arsenal did not announce the fees for Cech or Elneny, but the club accounts showed the fees paid. When we are only dealing with a handful of transfers any season, and with our accounts, other clubs accounts, and info revealed by Wenger and Gazidis, its safe to assume much of the transfer fees can be accurately assessed.


  30. Wenger says Koscielny alright for the PSG game
    “He had a big knock to his face, I did fear that he might miss the game, but he is all right. He has recovered quite well.”


  31. Glorie AFC canister ‏@double_canister 23m23 minutes ago
    Arsenal are heading to Paris tomorrow with a strong squad to play PSG in the UCL, but apparently this is due of years of systemic failure.


  32. GFFNPressConferences ‏@GFFNPressConf 47m47 minutes ago
    Arsène Wenger when asked about PSG’s offers: “I know the owners… I remained loyal to Arsenal because I love this club.”


  33. Steww at 4:48pm – Re transfer fees the best we can go by are the estimates by web sites such as http://www.transferleague.co.uk.


  34. Thanks Eddy and Shotts. It makes sense now. Rather than invention we’re dealing in pretty well educated guesses based on solid financial information and some slightly less solid, but when considered together they do yield some sort of results.


  35. It’s an interesting debate, vaguely, but have the Experts all forgotten the advanced position that Coquelin had as he helped to set up a goal against Abu Dhabi City (currently every petty arsed plundits favourite punt) during Arsenal’s pre-season victory over the current favourites?

    Fair to say everyone understands how and why Arteta’s heir arrived at the club. And why he’ll be best eased into the gr*t and thunder of the PL and playing in the PL and CL at the same time which will be a big change for someone used to slower and less frenetic climes? You’d hope? Being Experts an’ all. Ah well.

    Nevermind the Football.


  36. Nevermind Bouldy we’re clearly seeing the impact of Ze German physio on proceedings in my humble and irrelevant opinion. Chambers and Wilshere loans, increased upper body strength (eg Walcott) and various other variations in how stuff is done.
    Of course players like Alexis will still play on after being crocked following a two handed push into a brick/concrete pit (no foul call btw), but I don’t think I’ll ever meet a practising physio who’d expect a professional athlete to behave any differently!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. < the German World Cup winning physio team had or have an apparently heightened sense of the impact that travelling has on player recovery between matches.

    Xhaka, Alexis and Giroud all on the bench after the internationals. The indispensable captain was the exception, ably assisted by his inspirational vice-captain who wasn't in the Spain squad & is therefore a good guess to start in Paris? Ramsey not traveling, you'll get reasonable odds from me that he'll start at the weekend.


  38. excellent relevent piece Shotta, we are lucky that we have some brilliant guest posts on here but our resident 3 writers maintain a standard unmatched by 99% of other AFC blogs.
    Shotta as quite often analysist will take the best and worst results out of the equation to get a more uniforn answer and avoid one offs ive done just that. This produces 34.25 at Highbury and 38.25 at the Emms making it an even closer mean GA.
    As others have pointed out logistically there are many different factors as the league has evolved which can have an impact on the GA total. A high scoring league or the winners conceeding more goals for example.
    I think you have opened a statiscal can of worms with this and I could read your work all day,it would be nice if in the future you could go even deeper into this.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. I admit I was nervous that a long run with the captaincy might have an impact on Koscielny’s form.

    Never in doubt.


  40. Gallas had an exceptional final season. Top stuff. Very little recognition.
    Koscielny came in as an unknown but the raw talent was ridiculous. TV5 was doing well as his mentor until the footballing gods got bored and chose to fire some spears through both his Achilles ankles.


  41. Says here or there that PSG have tried to tempt AW to Paris with serious intent on three occasions.

    Adds an interesting facet to the next match (can’t wait!). There are other memories of Paris. This new input of old data into the machine has encouraged General Hindsight to pipe up and he says, inbetween puffs, that AW resting Xhaka (& Giroud and Alexis) on the weekend was about as obvious a call as you could have ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Ozil is the other indispensable?

    Cazorla will get the odd rest here there, if for no other reason that there is a lot competition in there (Iwobi and Chamberlain might like to claim the odd start at No.8/10!)

    There aren’t many FBs like Bellerin which is why a legend like Cafu sings his praises. Gibbs & Monreal are very close in my opinion, so, spoilt at LB.

    Holding RCB back up
    Or is Gabriel 3rd choice either side not forgetting Mustafi can or has played RB (could be wrong). I guess that’ll all simply depend on fitness and form.


  43. A_or_B at 9:42pm. Thanks for your kind comments. For the Highbury era, I considered dropping the 1st and last as they were years when Wenger was not wholly able to compete but I didn’t want to open myself to accusations of cherry picking. But you correctly observe that when you drop the outliers the GA shows a slightly higher gap between Highbury and the Grove. In my opinion a 11.7% swing is significant especially when we are finding it harder to score goals especially at home.
    Based on some excellent points made by you guys I will examine the home and away data. I suspect it will confirm how important it is for home fans to make the Emirates a fortress where our opponents should expect no quarter.


  44. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 1m1 minute ago Blackburn, England
    Ox is definitely straight , I’m not so sure about his boyfriend though !


  45. Goonersphere.com ‏@Goonersphere 19m19 minutes ago
    Disclosing your sexuality is not only a personal thing, it’s completely irrelevant to any profession. Join the 21st century. Thanks.

    Daniel Cowan ‏@thedanielcowan 21m21 minutes ago
    There shouldn’t be any stigma in 2016 but if a gay player comes out to help tackle that, more power to them.
    If not, does it really matter?


  46. Can you imagine an Arsenal blogger analyzing last Saturday’s game uses his headline and more than half of his writing to praise the manager of a rival team and write giddy peans to his tactical brilliance? This my friends is the depths to which Arsenal blogging has sunk.

    Ha, Ha, Ha. Pep has spent a mere 4 weeks in the most ruthlessly competitive league in the world and he is being crowned with gold, diamonds and rubies. Arsene Wenger went 16 years toe-to-toe with the most successful ever British coach, the manager of the flag-bearer of English football, fought him to a draw in his 1st 10 years and these wet behind the ears bloggers are counting him out.

    I have news for them. The data is compelling. Arsene Wenger when able to spend comparably will never be out-coached by anyone in English football. Fact will overcome emotion sooner or later. Watch the ride PA.

    Liked by 6 people

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