Arsenal Well Set Halfway Into The Transfer Window

peeking through the window

Some background

Apparently sitting around at home watching a lot of football has convinced many Arsenal fans they are experts at management, coaching, scouting, contract negotiations, commercial deals and, last but by no means least, the proper color of the team kit. As some of my British friends have commented, it is similar to the delusion now held by many punters that they are now experts on furniture restoration after watching the long advert on the use of French polish by Quest tv during their broadcast of the recent Emirates Cup games. It is one thing to fumble through a DIY project over a weekend, it is an infinitely greater magnitude of difference to being the football manager of a multi-million business such as Arsenal Football Club.

The profound difference between being an amateur observer versus an experienced hands-on professional manager is apparently lost on many fans especially those who have gained some notoriety as tweeters, bloggers and podcasters.

When I first interacted with Arsenal fans via blogs some 11-12 years ago, my aspiration was to become part of a community dedicated to supporting the club we loved, to be the proverbial 12th man. Back then I thought this would be the goal of every Arsenal fan given the clear Man United bias in the mainstream media and the British football establishment. I could never have been more naïve in my expectations.

Far from becoming an alternative to the increasingly corrupt mainstream media, most, not all, Arsenal bloggers are less about supporting the club and more about their ego and identification with being a winner. Nothing was more illuminating than the absolute failure of most bloggers to communicate and educate their readers that post-2005 the club and Wenger in particular were competing at a ginormous disadvantage to Abramovich’s Chelsea and the commercial giant at Old Trafford. The club would have to sacrifice investment in players to pay for its new stadium. Worse was to come with the 2008 takeover of City by the sovereign wealth fund of the UAE. It meant Arsenal had slipped from the 2nd biggest club in England financially to at least 4th place.

It was during those lean years that most bloggers, some now turned tweeters and podcasters, began to assume an air of superiority to Arsene Wenger. His so-called failure up to 2013 to add any trophies to his three PL titles including being an “Invincible” as well as five FA cups, had not only sealed his fate in their eyes but they were now empowered to choose the color of the curtains in the manager’s office for the new occupant.

Most of these bloggers-tweeters-podcasters still remain unrepentant despite Wenger proving them stratospherically wrong since 2013, when the shackles imposed by deals necessary to obtain financing the new stadium were finally eased. Three more FA cups and 20 years straight in the Champions League has seemingly embittered rather than humbled them. Somehow they think the new commercial contracts with Emirates Airlines suddenly made Arsenal equally competitive with the three money-bag clubs. But as the historically pro-Manchester United newspaper, The Guardian, was quick to point out:

“£30m a year from the Middle East airline, who have extended their shirt sponsorship by five years until the end of the 2018-19 season and secured the stadium naming rights, which were due to expire in 2021, until 2028. This marks a significant increase in revenue on the previous deal but falls short of Chevrolet’s £357m, seven-year sponsorship of Manchester United.”

Fact is Arsenal remains the 4th strongest Premier League club in financial capacity. As our blogmeister and twitter legend, the one and only @BlackburnGeorge, frequently reminds the factually and financially challenged members of the twiteratti, Arsenal’s objective expectation at the start of every PL season is to come 4th and to make a good cup run. The fact that we usually punch above our weight is due solely to the outstanding leadership of Arsene Wenger.

Despite clear demonstration by the manager that he is approaching the new season with greater resolve, having thoroughly demolished his detractors in the board room battle over his new contract, the usual gaggle of bloggers-tweeters-podcasters continue their stupid little games hoping Arsenal fans will buy into.

As an American, most cringe-worthy is the role of certain gooners across the pond, who, from at least 3,000 miles away, have decided they have the gravitas to criticize the player management strategy of the manager and his transfers (Yes, I know that’s the info you want and I am getting there). They are the perfect carricatures of Graham Greene’s “The Ugly American”. Rather than being humbled by the generosity of our British friends in giving them a platform to speak, they act arrogantly and crow noisily on subjects they have no expertise. How longer will this embarrassment continue? Will this welcoming mat always remain?

Halfway Into This Transfer Window

Unlike my compatriots who prefer to highlight their own opinions, in preparation for this blog, I spent quality time retrieving and making sense of the data from Transfermarkt from an Arsenal point of view. Before I present my findings let me remind you of some of the main characteristics of the transfer market:

  • Unlike various well known stock or commodity markets, it was designed by FIFA and the big clubs to restrain trading activity to a fixed period of time and to restrict freedom of buyers and sellers. It is no supermarket shelf where Arsenal can identify and target, for example, all central midfielders available.
  • Knowledge of willing buyers and sellers is restricted. Due to restrictions on tapping up, player agents play the main role of putting buyers and sellers together. Arsenal relies heavily on agents, not Dick Law, to make initial contact and bring the parties together.
  • Information is restricted. Due to the opacity of the market, third party interests whether as owners or agents are now flourishing in the grey area of the market. Due to this grey activity Arsenal reportedly refuses to do business with certain super agents.

Findings as of July 30th based on the top 100 transfers:

  • £1.645 billion is the value of transfer fees worldwide mostly in Europe.
  • £1.363 billion is the market value of the players acquired.
  • Clubs worldwide paid a 17% premium in transfer fees vs market value.

Premier League is the biggest spender:

  • £649 million in transfer fees or 39% of total fees spent.
  • £415 million in market value of players acquired.
  • 36% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. double the worldwide premium.

In contrast to the Premier League, the Bundesliga clubs are very value conscious:

  • £192 million in transfer fees.
  • £188 million in market value of players acquired.
  • 2% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. 800% less than the worldwide premium.

Who doubts Bayern will hand it to a PL club in next year’s champion’s league?

Manchester City is the PLs biggest spender:

  • £194 million in transfer fees.
  • £103 million in market value of 5 players acquired.
  • 47% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. nearly triple the worldwide premium.

Check/Cheque Guardiola indeed!

Chelsea is no slouch:

  • £119 million in transfer fees.
  • £69 million in market value of 3 players acquired.
  • 42% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. 250% above the worldwide premium.

Manchester United have distinguished themselves as making the biggest splash in the transfer market so far. Their purchases show the same trend as City and Chelsea:

  • £102 million in transfer fees.
  • £61 million in market value of 2 players acquired.
  • 40% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. 250% above the worldwide premium.

Contrast Arsenal with the big money  clubs:

  • £45 million in transfer fees.
  • £47 million in market value of 2 players acquired.
  • -4% premium in transfer fees vs market value, i.e. 400% less than the worldwide premium.

Value wise AFC has limited downside risk to the players acquired yet they are clear degrees superior in value to the players they are nominally replacing. Lacazette’s market value is £34m vs Perez which is £12.75m. Similarly Kolasinac is valued at £12.75m versus Gibbs who is rated £8.50m.

Most importantly, Arsenal has improved the quality of players in both forward line and in defense. It is self evident that the next area for improvement is in central midfield. My confidence is based on the research I have done demonstrating, with data, the critical importance of missing Santi Cazorla during our last two failed league challenges. Additionally I did two blogs in the second half of last season quantifying deficiencies in central midfield. I am therefore convinced this is Wenger’s focus.

By the way almost all the bloggers and podcasters are now singing the same tune we wrote months ago, i.e. the need for a central midfielder acting as a secondary playmaker. Seemingly they all read this blog while pretending they don’t. As we always remind ourselves at PA, we rely on the unbiased data. It is constant, silent and unemotional but it is undeniable. By trusting the data we almost always arrive at the correct conclusions.

As usual I leave the final word to the genius, who is again playing the transfer market like a fine fiddle, i.e. to Arsene:

“I believe there are actually two ways to improve the team. First of all to improve the quality of what we do in training to improve the squad and improve the players we have, and secondly to bring more top-level players in. 

“The difficulty is to bring top-level players in because you pay a huge amount of money for very normal players at the moment. As well, all the big clubs are chasing the same players and that provokes huge inflation. Maybe this will be the first time we [football clubs] pay over £200m, maybe over £300m with Neymar and around £200m with Mbappe. 

“So there is a huge inflation. But we are active, we are working hard and I think we have done well with Kolasinac, we have done well with Lacazette and we are continuing to work.

“There’s the usual acceleration in the final part of August,” added Wenger, “But I think you have always to be on alert every day, because a good opportunity might turn up. 

“Sometimes people you are after for a long time are not available and suddenly they become available. So you have always to be on alert. That’s what we do.”

I will do a follow-up at the end of the window.

156 comments on “Arsenal Well Set Halfway Into The Transfer Window

  1. Correct Shotts!
    Malaga proved to be such a tasty carcass that the Vulture went back for desert! I wonder if the next years’ politics will provide us with another victim I mean seller.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Me and zimpaul had high hopes for Santos.

    Then he discovered the Brazilian bakery in N.London. I’ve haven’t seen much but I’ve never seen a player so unfit as he was at the start of his second season!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Santos was great going forward but I think he liked watching our fast flowing football too much, he would think Jesus were good…oh we’ve lost the ball …. Who should be defending there ….. Oh shit its me!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. And he’d also have beaten that ‘keeper in a pie eating contest no problem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Be honest though – there are a handful of well renowned Brazilian fullbacks, Roberto Carlos, Alves, Marcello to name but three of the very best – how many of them are ( or were) that good at “defending” ?

    Going forward a delight, digging it out on a wet night in Stoke less so.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. https://vid.me/geVTm

    If Neymar goes on to have a season like this in a tougher league I’d be amazed (and so would his accountant!)


  7. Football has its first €200m player.

    Brazilian superstar Neymar’s imminent move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain will see that threshold crossed for the first time – and Arsene Wenger is not surprised.

    The boss remembers when Trevor Francis became the first £1m player when he joined Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City in 1979 and, for Wenger, Neymar’s move demonstrates just how much the sport has evolved.

    “For me, it is the consequence of the ownerships and that has completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years,” he said.

    “Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect the financial fair play because you can have different ways or different interests for a country to have such a big player to represent a country. It can’t justify the investments and looks unusual for the game. That’s why I always [support] football living with its own resources.

    “Apart from that, we are not in a period anymore where you think, in some places, ‘If I invest that, I will get that back’. We are beyond that. The number today involves a lot of passion, pride, public interest and you cannot rationalise that anymore.

    “It also looks like the inflation is accelerating. We crossed the €100m line last year and, only one year later, we’re crossing the €200m line. When you think that Trevor Francis was the first £1m player and that looked unreasonable, that shows you how much distance and how far we have come, how big football has become. It’s beyond calculation and beyond rationality.”

    Paul Pogba’s move to the Premier League sent shockwaves around football last summer but Neymar’s transfer has smashed the world record fee that Manchester United paid. Wenger thinks there will be a knock-on effect.

    “It will have implications because of the consequences it will provoke,” he said. “The clubs, when Barcelona will want to buy a player, will say, ‘My friends, you have €250m, so €220m is in your pocket’. What costs €50m today will cost €100m for them.

    “We still live with rationality,” added the boss. “We are not the only ones. I think 99 per cent of the clubs do that but of course we cannot compete at that level.”

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/wenger-my-take-neymar-transfer#fLbrC05OwmFOsuLa.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/wenger-my-take-neymar-transfer#MVdbbhU3TgFbM9Xw.99

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Shotts
    Perhaps the petroleum-clubs ignored Malaga’s meltdown not because they’d never heard of footballers like Cazorla* but because buying players at the market rate did not suit their, what do you call it, their “business” model?

    *Did all the European scouts (along with your average plundits) miss the star player from Villarreal’ two consecutive CL SFs? No, I don’t think so…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Chelsea.

    The Arsenal manager provided updates on Mesut Ozil, Alexis, Shkodran Mustafi, Aaron Ramsey and Gabriel.

    This is what he had to say:

    on the team news…
    We have basically everyone available to choose from on Sunday and today in training we didn’t have Ozil, but he should be alright, and Ramsey, who should be alright as well. Some players are just coming back like Alexis and Mustafi, and I haven’t decided yet if I will involve them or not.

    on Ozil and Ramsey…
    Ramsey had a little muscular problem, and Ozil a a little ankle problem. They will train on Saturday.

    on Francis Coquelin…
    No, he is not available. He got injured in the Emirates Cup but we don’t think it will be too bad – two weeks.

    on Gabriel…
    He is a long-term injury but he starts to run again now.

    on Alexis…
    He is good, as you can see from training. He had a good rest, so he needs to work on his fitness but once he is in a game he is sharp. He doesn’t look like he has been away.

    on if he is over the flu…
    He is over the flu, yes. I told you it was never a problem for us.

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-ozil-alexis-ramsey-and-mustafi#CcpFp6Ar8r2kFYz3.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-ozil-alexis-ramsey-and-mustafi#z1re1bHRzBcp2xhG.99


  10. According to reports in Turkey, Fenerbahçe have agreed terms with Arsenal for Lucas Pérez


  11. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/reds-go-green-arsenals-emirates-stadium-switches-100-renewable-energy-1633411

    Gunners go ‘Green’: Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium switches to 100% renewable energy
    One of the Premier League’s biggest clubs partners with Octopus Energy to reduce its carbon footprint.

    Gaurav Sharma
    By Gaurav Sharma
    Updated August 3, 2017 15:44 BST

    Arsenal Green Energy
    Reds go ‘Green’: (L to R) Octopus Energy founder Greg Jackson, Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis power up Emirates Stadium with 100% renewable energy.

    London’s Emirates stadium, home of one of the English Premier League’s elite outfits – Arsenal Football Club – has officially gone 100% ‘green’ by switching to renewable energy.

    The club’s long-standing manager Arsène Wenger ‘switched-on’ the changeover on Thursday (3 August) to supply the 60,000-plus seating capacity stadium with power sourced from renewable energy upstart Octopus Energy, a company that has morphed over the years into one of the UK’s biggest investors in solar power plants.
    More business news

    ‘Super Thursday’ sees Bank of England hold firm on August interest rates
    London must not ‘water down’ rules for Saudi Aramco IPO, says IoD boss
    ‘Super Thursday’ or Damp Weekday: Pound slumps on Mark Carney’s comments

    Why advertise with us

    Arsenal’s chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis, who flanked Wenger at the switch-on, said it is important that the club makes a statement on its carbon footprint.

    The move makes Arsenal the first Premier League club to switch to 100% ‘green’ energy for powering its stadium.

    Furthermore, the Emirates Stadium also has a water supply which is recycled and used to reduce waste, and all food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is turned into more energy that will in turn supply the club.

    “It is important we all take steps in this area. I am pleased that we have switched to green energy as a result of our partnership with Octopus Energy,” Gazidis added.

    Greg Jackson, founder and chief executive officer of Octopus Energy, said green energy industry is at a tipping point. “The technology to create electricity from renewable sources is now so efficient, that we can offer ‘green’ energy to our customers which is cheaper than many ‘non green’ tariffs. Being green doesn’t have to cost the earth.

    “We have been delighted to work with such an awesome club as Arsenal, and are looking forward to continuing our partnership into the future.”


  12. Stan Kroenke only saving the earth so he can make more money hunting it into extinction (Look Ma, I’m on AFTV!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Watching England last night and performances throughtout the tournement, just show clearly to me again about how English coaching see football.
    It is a complete reflection of the men,one might say that is to be expected,
    I say why?
    Every game was the same, no real control , no real passing for position, just the hope of ‘Hitting an area’ and a couple of star players scoring a goal then ‘batten down’ not controlled posession.
    It is clearly not about the coaching per se as we know many coaches have done their coaching badges here including Martinez,Vieira,Arteta,Henry.
    Then it is down to how you see football,the profile of the player who best represents your coaching beliefs and build your team around it.
    Does England football recognise this as an error?
    The FA are trying,England footbal are producing ever more technical players,identifying players with ‘Street Football’ skills (A bit like the NBA in the 70’s) something frowned upon mostly. I believe Laurie Cunningham was the first sucessful ‘Street Footballer’ (the type to use efficient free-style tricks in game), but players like these are important but need other players to thrive.But I do not see a change in seeking that definitive player type.
    Spain you draw a direct line from Pep Guradiola to Xavi to Santi
    Germany From Franz Beckenbauer to Lothar Matthaus to Toni Kroos
    Brazil from Didi to Gerson to Socrates
    You can do this for all big football counties(and many smaller ones)

    The problem for me is England has Michael Carrick

    He has been totally ignored ‘Amazing!’
    He should be the model of player England should be looking for, enhanced levels of the best characteristics he demonstrates.
    But no, we have Bryan Robson as the profile, Robson was a special player, a unique player but he should not be the profile.
    Womens football has a lot of money spent on it, the girls are full-time pro’s,but the same patterns are evident.
    It’s how you see football

    Liked by 2 people

  14. It was a shame Neymar Jr. missed the thrashing that Ozil and Germany dished out to the agents’ favourite national team and wasn’t on the pitch with David Luiz (of course neither are poor footballers).

    I went to check what happened in 2014 and what he’d been upto whilst Sanchez has been carving out his own statue in the S.American hall of fame and I came across the following:

    “On 4 July 2014, while Colombia’s quarter-final match against hosts Brazil was nearing its end, Zúñiga landed his right knee in Neymar’s lower back while challenging for the ball. Neymar was stretchered off and further examinations showed that Neymar suffered a fractured third lumbar vertebra, ruling him out of the rest of the World Cup.[17][18] After the match, which Colombia lost 2–1, Zúñiga insisted that he had not meant to injure Neymar.[18][19] Neymar’s teammate Thiago Silva defended Zúñiga, stating that he is not the type of player who would purposely cause an injury to any player.[20] Conversely, Brazilian legend Ronaldo said that he believes the very violent challenge was a foul with the intention to cause harm.[21] The day after the match, it was revealed that Zúñiga had sent a letter of apology to Neymar, saying that he was “deeply sorry and sad” for unintentionally causing the injury.[22] Neymar later accepted the apology.[23][24] Though Zúñiga publicly apologized to Neymar, his Instagram and Twitter accounts were flooded with racial insults and death threats to him and his family by some Brazilian fans.[25][26]

    Despite disputed sentiment and false slander, a year later at Copa America 2015 Zúñiga would participate against Brazil in the second group match which an on-pitch brawl broke out following Colombia’s 1–0 win over Brazil; Brazilian captain at the time Neymar deliberately kicked the ball at opponent Pablo Armero and attempted to headbutt Colombian matchwinner Jeison Murillo, earning a red card. As a result, Colombian forward Carlos Bacca retaliated by pushing Neymar over, and was himself sent off.[27] CONMEBOL fined Neymar $10,000 and suspended him for four matches, ruling him out for the remainder of the tournament,[28] while Bacca was suspended for two matches.[29] Although Zúñiga was nowhere involved in the incident it draw an exonerating parallel based on the professionalism between both athletes.”

    Alexis Sanchez. He’s not perfect but he’s better the most! Doesn’t bite, doesn’t come with a £50M surcharge that needs renewal every two seasons etc. His biggest problem, alongside the occasional tired *coughs* pass is that he’s going to rush back from pre-season/rest and recovery again (& again & again…)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. WWB

    Carlton Palmer > Michael Carrick



  16. Bit harsh WWWB – English football sides have had a brilliant Summer.

    The England U20s won the World Cup in South Korea, the U19s the Euro trophy in Georgia, and the Under 17’s ended runners up in their Euros and retained the Toulon Trophy. The “worst’ performance was the U21s going out in the Euro semi finals to Germany on penalties ( who wold have thought it?) . Add in the women making it to the Euro semi final, where they lost to the hosts and favourites last night, and I doubt there is any country in World football who has put together a series of trophies, runners up positions, and results anywhere good near that across the different tournaments and age groups. And not one of those tournaments on home soil.

    I am as happy as the next football fan to give the FA a good kicking ( and no doubt they will give me ample opportunity in the future) but this Summer I take my hat off to their efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I was musing on the Neymar transfer this morning as I wandered up the beach.

    It occurred to me to think about how dangerous his position now is, as in genuinely, physically, life and limb dangerous.

    He has transformed himself from a famous footballer, very talented, young, rich, a celebrity if you like, into a pawn on the chess board of international geopolitics. The negotiations and outcome have transferred from from the back pages of sport, to the front pages of politics and diplomacy, as no doubt the noisy public spectacle of the deal and price were intended to.

    He has been purchased in order to raise and enhance the profile of Qatar, at a time when that country is at loggerheads with regional neighbours and its relationship, alleged or otherwise, to international terrorism is no doubt the focus of intense interest in Washington, Moscow and Beijing. As for the multiple political and religious factions at war across the Middle East the shifting combinations, alliances and enmities are a labyrinth that twists to a new shape day by day. Among the governments and their agencies, and the nebulous groups there are some very, very dangerous people.

    Neymar, and his new Qatari owners, must surely realise the potential be for him to become a prize to be taken off the board in that struggle, as easily as a pawn in any chess game is taken, or perhaps even sacrificed ?

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I shall get to work on the script …..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. anicoll5
    A bit harsh maybe
    But the fact still remain that throughout the summer of sucess, we have not seen a measure of control by an England team during any of the England team games.
    There has been a large element of ‘hit and run footbal’l, the weakness has been for the large part concealed by the fact the teams have won games and we know results are the be all.
    But consistant sucess and then ‘big two’ will in the main elude the the country because of the model of player.
    I am making this point precisely at the time when there has been an upturn in fortunes, but I am not blinded by that. We all saw how England mens team did last year . That was Iceland that handed out that schooling .
    Even though Spain, Scotland and Portugal were all dispatched, I saw un under resourced Scotland (Severly crippled by injuries no Kim Little and others)and Portugal play better,Spain just lacked a Striker. Yesterday Holland team showed they were on a different levell to England.
    Money is being spent on England football, often a lot more than our opponents, facilities , coaching and competion are all being provided for the players,which is some of the best in the world, but we can all see the issues.
    There are skillful players being produced and integrated into most teams,but that
    does not translate into the England team. Why?
    I believe it is player profile.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. anicoll5
    You are able to comprehend well and see the levels of mangement that Qatar is reaching with this move and believe every element you have stated is correct.
    That script could really be a banger!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. If the coaching has some quality (if not quantity what with the lack of qualified coaches) up and down the land (Holding!!!!) then perhaps the biggest cause of this retardation is:

    The pgMOB.
    (bold, italic & underline)

    How long before a clogging diver like Alli is rated by the hype merchants and business partners of the pgMOB as “the next Messi” or “the next Ronaldinho” if it hasn’t happened already, I think Harry Kane has been compared to and superceeded St.George (though he failed to score in tournament football…).


  22. That is the thing Fins
    Delle is already being promoted as the profile of player that youngsters should emulate just another Robson/Roy Race clone.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. He’s our very own Neymar Jnr.!

    Unlike Jacky Wilshere he was not unfit against Iceland (& Costa Rica in the tournament before?), but he’d have got none of he criticism that say Walcott has received in his career: Walcott managed a tournament goal as a forward (not cf) in about a third or less minutes when compared with the anointed Alli. Just sayin’!


  24. Arsenal U23s drawn against Bayern Munich, Porto and Reading in Group E of the Premier League International Cup.


  25. for all the noise and drama about naymer’s transfer, there is something nice that some can learn. pastore willingly gave his number to naymer, something that monreal did when sanchez arrived. but was an issue to flog wenger with as per perez and lacazette. i i’m of the view that there are some iconic numbers that shouldnt be sitting on the bench or rested when players who has them arent available. if players are really motivated to give their best when on a particular number, i think it is better and in the interest of the team to have it on a player who would likely start or play regularly. for instance ozil likes 10, and i woldnt mind giving it to him if it means him giving us more magic on the pitch.


  26. Neymar and his father are not aware of how they sit in the whole scheme of things,they This game is being played at a level way above Neymar’s pay grade.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi has agreed a loan move to Preston North End, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.


  28. this time next week Arsenal will be playing our first league game of the season, v LCFC.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Brilliant article Shotta, thanks.

    So many superb comments I don’t know who to thank.



  30. WWWB, A5, Fins: The great thing about the Neymar move, it is being done primarily at Barca’s expense.These arrogant Catalans have thumb their noses at the rest of Europe for years under the delusion they are god’s gift to football. Up steps UEFA and FIFA last year to shine a light on their illegal, slimy practise of signing up the best minors from diverse nations in contravention of all modern legal code, literally engaged in child-trafficking. For this they suffered a transfer ban. But yesterday was the coup de grace by the Qataris, another bunch of slime balls with their extremist, religious beliefs and disrespect for human rights (known for subjecting foreign workers to degradation and contempt). Up they step flagrantly exercising their wealth, waving their money around like a high roller in Las Vegas, to simple buy-off Barca’s best player. Who best to suffer such ignominy? Who else to be so humbled and their arrogance exposed as artificial and tissue thin when up against a greater power?

    Football may well suffer from the inflationary forces that have been unleashed but as my mother would perhaps argue; god works in mysterious ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. some suggestions that PSG went for Naymar cos of the underhand way Barcelona tried to unsettle Varatti, looking for him to agitate for a move to them.


  32. Sniper‏ @clockendsniper 1m1 minute ago

    Monaco go behind for the 2nd time at home to Sanogo’s Toulouse. 1-2


  33. Wenger: “I am sorry I am still here! I can understand that you want to kill me but at the moment, I survive!”

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Or maybe PSG went for Neymar because of the underhand Barca cheating and the ref falling for it….at best…..had the Parisians knocked out of past seasons Champions league


  35. I really think Neymar moved for football reasons, if you analyse the team he has left against the team he is going to, Paris seem to be on the rise and probably the best chance for Ballon d’or(all worth money to the lad in bonuses) his fashion line, the hotel buisness will now get support,something Barcelona could not help him with.


  36. The charisma and passion of Joan Laporta (Think Harrods David Dein) and slippery Sandro Rosell (Think suit, concealed carry and a switch ready open taped to his ankle ) saved Barcelona 2003 Laporta forced Rosell out when he realised what type of foe he had in his mists.
    Laporta himself was forced out ,but not before putting the club on an even footing ,which was ready for the short, middle and long term.
    But Barca is broke now,genuinly trading on past reputation and Messi to see it ‘checking the change’and have had a massive blow after using ‘fifties to light cubitas’.
    Need I say Nostradamus Cruyff predicted it.
    Gees! that guy had vision.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. i dont think fashion line and hotel business has much to do with football. whether psg are on the rise and barca on decline is left to be seen. but what is clear is barca is a bigger club than psg at the moment and the artificial status psg hold today might just fissle out after the 2022 world cup. seeing the way clubs like chelsea, city and evrton are being artificial doped to usurp and undermine the good works of managers like arsene, i can never support whatever is done there at psg despite the crude manner barca did business with us in the past.


  38. Might be a bit early to be writing Barca’s obituary. They could even end up with a more balanced team.

    Real Madrid for instance found their winning formula by putting the Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro in the team instead of trying to cram in another superstar. Rodriguez and others were almost certainly better players, but he made the team better.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I like Barca taking a hit, but I can’t revel in it while it’s very possible it could negatively impact on us (I thought that before the latest Lemar talk).

    Most of all though, I can’t get on board talk of Barca as a fading force when… I suspect they could still give us a pretty good game, before they spend their unwanted, this time, Qatari loot.


  39. Barca is not finished
    No far from that
    But I what I mean is they are noway near as liquid as a club that size should be,through miss manadement.
    After Laporta was forced out,he left the club in great financial position, which it has ruthlessly squandered.


  40. Tomasz Cwiakala‏Verified account @cwiakala 2h2 hours ago

    Krystian Bielik (Arsenal) close to joining Eintracht Frankfurt on 2-year loan. There was also interest from Hoffenheim.


  41. the Kroenke out and the wenger out brigade must be really pissed off, all these years campaigning, protesting and undermining Arsenal, and nothing, just complete failure. Yet little over 24 hrs of complaints by animal rights activists and Kroenke takes action and takes the offending programme off his channel.
    Surely this is evidence that Kroenke actually does listen, does take a big interest in what is going on in his business interests, and so the only sensible conclusion we can draw on the Kroenke out and Wenger out protests is, Stan has noticed, has listened, has weighed up the pros and cons, and DECIDED the sad fuckers haven’t got a clue, and has ignored them completely.


  42. VVV-Venlo have taken Kelechi Nwakali on loan for the season. They loaned Zelalem from us last season.


  43. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil missed training today.
    Nelson, Huddart, Macey & Willock all trained with the first team.


  44. Seemingly Bielik’s loan deal will be a two year loan deal.


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