Transfers Give Hope !

At the end of last season it looked as if Granit Xhaka wanted out, and that Martin Ødegaard was on his way back to Spain, two players who would take quite a bit of replacing I felt. There were many rumours as to who their replacements should be, some realistic, some not so much. I don’t know what happened to Xhaka’s move but the moment he agreed to stay at the Emirates,  Arsenal no longer needed to buy a replacement – he was in effect like a new signing, especially as a contract renewal was soon agreed on. To replace him would have cost somewhere in the region of £40 million, money that was then available to spend elsewhere. He will continue to be targeted by refs and pundits but I suspect will end the season as one of our most influential players, just as he has done before. Ødegaard became available and he is a new signing (though of course he doesn’t feel like one). His arrival on loan back in January did coincide with a slight upturn in results which saw the second half of the season more successful than the first had been. I am biased but think he could be a major player – I like the way he plays, reminding me at times of a less languid Ozil, a more graceful Wilshere.

We have signed Aaron Ramsdale, a backup goalkeeper (which was essential) who is surely destined to soon enough become our number one: I suspect he will be better with the ball at his feet than Leno and I hope that he might be more assertive when it comes to crosses into the box. For balance, I imagine he is not such a good shot stopper as our current first choice keeper. Ben White, our new CB signing came with seemingly very good credentials, and good judges spoke well of him. He had a poor first game and has since been unwell: it may well be that he was under the weather during the game, or maybe playing in a new side takes a bit of time to get used to. I think it would be premature to write him off just yet and I look forward to seeing him play and develop. Still on the defensive side of things, we have also signed a left back, Nuno Tavares, and a right back, Takehiro Tomiyasu. I do not know nearly enough about them to have a view, apart from making the point that since Bellerin’s injury a couple of years ago we have looked a little light in that department, and I can see why it was felt that we needed a back-up with potential for Tierney. I also hear that Tomiyasu can play at Centre Back, which will give more options for the man in charge.

Sambi Lokonga is an interesting new recruit, and its hard to know whether he was bought as a long term project, initially to provide cover in midfield, or whether he was seen as a first-choice starter. I’ve only caught fleeting glimpses of him, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen thus far, and think that a midfield engine room where you perm two from Lokonga, Xhaka, Elneny and Partey is a better base from which to build than seemed likely at one stage, and to my eyes is an improvement from last year. Could it be that Maitland-Niles might also feature in that midfield? He too seemed ready to leave, but now remains, at least for the time being.

The one area that I felt needed strengthening was the striker, but that was never going to happen while we were still paying Aubamayang and Lacazette. No one came in for Lacazette who I guess of the two was the more likely to leave, so we have him for the last year of his contract, but he has shown in the past that he can score goals, and that he does link play well. At the prices we could afford there were few out there guaranteed to come in and do better. Maybe a new target man may be the only target next summer.

Taken all in all it has been an interesting series of deals. For those keen to attack the club and its direction of travel it is easy enough to say that a lot of money has been spent, but spent on players who on the face of things don’t noticeably improve the side. For those who prize ‘winning the window’ it is certainly a disappointment: there is no big glamour signing, no player ‘guaranteed to pay for himself in shirt sales alone’. This summer has certainly been a gift for the soapbox orators at Talk Sport, the mouth frothers at AFTV and as I write I can almost hear the one-sided and seemingly down-to-earth common sense logic put forward by the likes of Darren Gough and Adrian Durham. In many ways I can see they have a point. But it is also true to say that this window represents a significant change in direction for The Arsenal, for the profile of these new players is very similar. They are all young, all between 20 and 23, and all, one hopes, with their best years ahead of them. They have cost quite a lot of money, but I suspect that although they will be very comfortably remunerated, they will not be on excessive wage packets. I don’t know who makes the decisions at the club, whether it is the manager, or the owner, or the Board of Directors, but these new signings do not seem to have been done on a whim, however easy it is for Paddy Power to suggest that the recruitment policy is nothing more than a joke. They do point to a plan, a project, a process.

Not all of these players will be a success, and they certainly won’t turn the fortunes of the club around at once. But there is a good chance that they will integrate well with the other young players already at the club, and that together they might start building a new Arsenal side, a side that has an identity unique and different to previous teams that have represented the club. The profile of the players suggest that they are talented, ambitious, and coachable. Whether or not the current coach will be the one to get the best out of them remains to be seen, and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. While I am not brimming over with optimism, I can detect the first faint stirrings of hope, enough at any rate to find me already frustrated that we are yet again in the midst of a wretched International break.

Tim Head @foreverheady

35 comments on “Transfers Give Hope !

  1. A well grounded and thoughtful piece Heady, many thanks! On a stomach full of fried opinions swimming in in lard and feeling the need to go to Arsenal rehab to get some joy back after all the loud voiceshysterically barking in the belief they are right rather than relative this came across as dignified, careful and sowed a small seed of hope, at least for me.
    Im looking forward to the dark evenings of autumn when things seem a bit calmer. I wished the season started after the transfers were done and that the international ” break” didnt occur and that international games were played before the season gets underway, but maybe more nationalistic minded people think otherwise and thats fair enough. However a bit of a rest from it all might be a decent thing? Poor old football, what a state its in?
    Thanks again for the signs of hope, and also to Shotts and George for the pod and keeping it grounded there too.
    Cheers and COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. six players in for positions that we needed players in for, so whats not to like.

    only downside to the window has been only one of all the players who went out brought in a fee. We have a few now who are into the last 10 months of their contracts and will likely leave for free next summer. Lacazette, Nketiah and Kolasinac.


  3. Certainly as underwhelming set of acquisitions as one could ‘hope for’.

    We were now almost wenger frei with only a tiny remnant of players that remember what free flowing attacking football was like, and giving arteta the chance to mold his players into his vision or ‘process’.

    By next year even those few will be gone and we will them be happily playing our mediocre game of passing out to the wing and crossing to no one in particular.

    Whether that is in the EPL or the championship remains to be seen.

    The older players who were prepared to and maybe did stand up to him are mostly gone, one way or another, and we are left with players who, in theory at least, will be happy to bore the fans and maybe the opposition into submission.

    They will be happy to do what arteta tells them for the money and the chance, possibly only occasionally for some,to actually play, in or out of position.

    I do not relish the prospect but who knows?


  4. I see Guendouzi has been called up to the France senior squad


  5. just a word of caution on the six signings

    here are permanent signings that made since Wenger left that will not play for us this season

    David luiz

    by the way half of them are still Arsenal players, but are out on loan.

    There has been 3 loan signings in that time too that we did not buy outright


  6. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has tested positive for Covid-19, the Swiss FA have said in a statement.

    Good job he has the next few weeks off to recover,


  7. Gurjit
    Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto: “Xhaka wanted to come to Roma, #Arsenal didn’t have any intention of selling at that moment, so that was a regret at the time”


  8. Kolasinac got what looks to be a bad ankle injury in the game v France, the player who put in the bad challenge was sent off


  9. Very well said on many levels Tim. Thank you.

    The “faint stirrings of hope” and optimism are definitely lit within me at this moment.
    They had a plan and achieved 70% of it. Our transfer and young gun loan out policy has been altered and energized. Additional marquee players can wait till the tactical foundations are sufficiently re-jigged and we are back playing with greater confidence and effort. It might take some time to synchronize the different parts but kudos to Edu and Arteta for getting things to this point.

    Tomiyasu excites me.
    It’s really just sunk in that we own Ødegaard.
    Lokonga looks the real deal, as does Ben White.
    AR32 has the makings of greatness-in-waiting. Character for days…solid!

    Nuno T20 plays with a freedom I always wanted from Reiss Nelson, who I hope will take his chances @ Feyenoord and come back a beast (could take 2 seasons away though).

    24-year old Ainsley too needs to take things up a notch, trust in his talent, and consistently show the world how good he is. “Greater concentration, more effort, and add a few goals Ainsley… Arsene fought for you all those years for a reason…we believe in you”.

    Kudos and thanks again to Willian. He really removed a big chunk of negative energy by agreeing to leave the way he did. Pure class. Best of luck to him.

    Extending Lacazette’s contract asap is vital in my view. He has proved to be more than worthy. Upping his wages gives him the confidence and respect he deserves. Our young squad would benefit tremendously from a “well-appreciated” Auba & Laca. Good vibes, positivity, and plenty goals.

    With Thomas Partey on schedule to be available for Norwich, Granit getting COVID while serving a 3-game suspension, and Ben White returning..this inter lull gives a bit of time for the gelling to begin as MA & his staff have Ramsdale, Okonkwo, Hein, Cedric, White, Holding, Chambers, Mari, Gabriel, Tavares, Partey, AMN, ESR, Elneny, Martinelli & Lacazette training @Colney.

    Hope begins…now


  10. I hope Kolasinac isn’t out for too long.
    We need all hands on deck


  11. Hope no one else gets injured among our international players.


  12. we beat a Brentford xi 4-0 in a friendly today,

    Arsenal: Ramsdale, Chambers, White (Hutchinson 76), Mari, Gabriel (Holding 69), Cedric: Maitland-Niles, Elneny (Patino 33); Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe.

    Goals: Gabriel 46, Lacazette 60, Cedric 76, 89


  13. Jeorge Bird
    Arsenal U23s v Southampton: Graczyk; Walters, Kirk, Monlouis, Ogungbo, Lopez; Salah, Akinola; Ideho, Biereth, Butler-Oyedeji.

    Subs: Ejeheri, Foran, Cozier-Duberry, Edwards.


  14. Football Transfers
    Police cars revolving light Serge Aurier Flag of Côte d’Ivoire would consider a move to Arsenal after terminating his contract at Tottenham. The 28-year-old wants to stay in England and Arsenal are one of a number of clubs that have been made aware of his preference. #AFC

    (via @SkySportsNews
    Waning gibbous moon symbol)


  15. We made six signings, all aged 23 or under, during a busy transfer window for the club this summer.

    Mikel Arteta is delighted to have strengthened his squad in this way, and believes all the new additions will complement the players he already had at his disposal.

    “[They all have] different experiences, some had experience in the league, so me abroad, and some have been coached in other ways, but they are players we have followed for a long time that we knew could fit in the model we are trying to implement at the club. So we are pleased,” he told Arsenal Media.

    “It was a really complicated market. We had a lot of things to do, I think we had 16 or 17 transactions in total, which is a lot.

    “You have to blend them all together, some of them haven’t even trained with us yet because they have still to come in the next week or so. We have a good group, they will help them to adapt as quick as possible and get them to work with us and see when we can integrate all together.

    “The club has made a big effort, we had support from the owners to try to do it and we had to recruit in the terms that we could, and I’m very pleased.”

    Copyright 2021 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.


  16. Bernd Leno is starting for Germany in their World Cup qualifier and another one of our goalies Karl Hein starts for Estonia against Belgium


  17. and a third AFC keeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson starts for Iceland against Romania


  18. Dan Critchlow
    Daniel Ballard has scored for Northern Ireland #AFC


  19. Jeorge Bird
    Ft. Arsenal 1 Southampton 1. Was a real battle. Good for Biereth to get another goal. Akinola did well mostly. Graczyk impressed as well. Some decent moments from Butler-Oyedeji as well.


  20. from get french football news

    Arsène Wenger lays out plans for World Cup every two years

    In an in-depth interview in today’s L’Équipe, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development and former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger detailed his plans to host a World Cup every two years.

    The format proposed by the Frenchman would also see continental tournaments take place every two years, alternating every year with the World Cup, while qualifiers would be grouped together into either one or two longer international breaks.

    What are the reasons behind this thinking?

    The goal is to keep improving the quality of football by increasing the frequency of competitions, alongside an improvement to the laws of the game. The international calendar will remain stable until 2024, since it’s already set. But after 2024, there’s a chance to change it. I would like to increase the frequency of competition, in a way that’s led by simplicity, a clear calendar, and a desire to only organise competitions that have a real meaning to them, which are those which allow an improvement in the level of football.

    So the big idea is a World Cup every two years?

    The big idea to start with is hold all qualifying matches over two international breaks, in October and March, for a greater visibility in the calendar, to make it simpler for clubs and for there to be less issues to resolve for national teams. The idea is to reduce the number of qualifying matches, to group them together, and then at the end of the season to have a World Cup and a championship for each confederation every two years. In between these two qualifying windows, the player would stay at their club all year.

    This seems like a race to profits which would imply a hellish schedule for the players

    Not at all. There will be the same number of matches as before, and players will go on international duty less often. The idea is really to improve the level of play and competitions, there’s no financial incentive behind it, especially as FIFA redistributes the money to all of the federations around the world to develop football in their countries. For the players, there won’t be more matches, and there will be a compulsory rest time after international competitions – 25 days at least, as I see it.

    Would Arsène Wenger the Arsenal manager have accepted such a plan?

    If in exchange, I would have been able to have my players available for the whole year, I would have thought about it. I understand the reservations, but I have to underline that 166 countries have asked that we study this possibility. I think it’s doable, as well as we obtain that clarity and simplicity in organising it. There needs to be less diversity in the calendar between when clubs play and when national teams play, which for example would reduce the amount of transcontinental travel for players. What we’ve seen in studies on recovery is that player fatigue is impacted by travel and sudden changes in climate.

    What does grouping together the qualifiers mean?

    It means that instead of ten qualifiers, there would be six, for example in four-team groups. Nowadays, for the Euros 24 out of 55 teams qualify, close to half, while friendly matches are less and less important for audiences and qualifiers attract less interest than they did 15-20 years ago. What people want are competitions with high stakes, that are easy to understand. That’s why it must be done, for audiences and to improve football.

    You would have to convince fans to give up on club football for a long period in October, won’t people get bored?

    It would be a time completely dedicated to qualifiers and to national teams, which would create a tension which doesn’t exist today. I think it’s an interesting idea. I’ve been working on it for six months now, consulting on it, and the reception has been 100% favourable. It’s a well thought-out overhaul, but then I’m not the one who will be voting on it.

    Would you be worried for the future of international football and its calendar without this reform?

    I’m not worried about the future of big tournaments. But there’s everything else, and it’s important that international football survives, because that’s the football that brings together every country. We have to keep this communion alive at all costs. We shouldn’t introduce new competitions, but rather focus on the big ones which have meaning. It’s true that you can oppose it to this almost ancestral four-year rhythm. I completely understand it because I myself grew up in it, but we have to recognise that society demands more and more high-stakes and high-emotion matches, and more often. Even the Euros, which took place two months ago, seem far behind to us now.

    I don’t think the footballing world wants qualifiers to last a year and a half anymore. We can just as well concentrate them over four-five weeks. In the end, the idea we have would only really come into play from 2028, since the 2026 World Cup has already been set. This means that seven years will have passed, during which mentalities will have continued to change in this direction. We have to anticipate the future.

    Do you not believe in the beauty of scarcity, or in the mythological aspect of an Olympic sprinter putting his life’s work at stake over ten seconds every four years?

    I do, but I think a competitor does so every week, in every competition. They always want to prove their worth and come up against the best. What they don’t want is to play matches which don’t stimulate them and don’t have much meaning to them. If we were to let the length of time between tournaments increase the privilege of playing them, we would have to play a World Cup every ten years. You have to have the courage to tell yourself that the beauty and prestige of a competition depends more than anything of the quality of it. What we shouldn’t do is organise cheap new competitions, we can only propose the best. The frequency of these competitions aren’t the issue, it’s the quality of them.

    Wouldn’t the Super League be perfect in that regard?

    No, the Super League had the greatest disadvantage it could have had in that it wasn’t based on sporting merit. It depended on the prestige of the clubs and not on performances.

    It would have given us high quality football

    Yes, but it’s like building a house. When the foundations are hollow, it won’t get very far. We’ve all suffered through the relegation of our favourite clubs. To kill that is to kill off the very essence of competition. I read a study on solidarity among supporters, which concluded that it was fans of smaller clubs which are more supportive as they all suffer together more often.

    How would club football supporters accept a month with no matches?

    The real question is choosing between the status quo, continuing what we do now – which is five breaks of ten days each in September, October, November, March and June – or grouping together the qualifiers. If the Super League had gone through it would have refused to align itself with the international calendar and wouldn’t have released its players. So we have to ensure that the world of football keeps its unity, and in order to do that we need to organise it differently. Football is the world’s biggest sport, but that’s no reason to stay inert and not try to anticipate changes.

    What are the opposing views, generally? What have players who you consulted said?

    Generally the players are in favour. Ronaldo Fenomeno, Kaká, Mascherano, Gary Lineker are all in favour. It’s an idea which initially evokes some reticence, but once we’ve explained it the guys go home thinking: “in the end, it’s not a bad idea”. They change their minds.

    When does the decision have to be made?

    Personally, especially considering the time I’m dedicating to it, I would like for it to be decided in December! But it’s not done yet.

    What about the changing of points of reference, statistics and established records?

    Statistics have been distorted for a while now, for example by the breaking up of countries. Germany, the USSR and Yugoslavia’s statistics have been stopped. With the USSR there was one country, now there are 21.

    Will European clubs need to be convinced, most of all?

    The clubs will have their players all to themselves for seven months minimum! It’s a win-win for them. They’ll have their players constantly with them in the period when they need them the most. Having often been confronted with that myself, I know that it’s a real problem. Instead of having four breaks where clubs can lose their momentum because of internationals, there will only be two, or even one. Personally, I would prefer to have the whole of October for national teams and nothing in March. But even if we keep the plan for two international breaks for qualifiers, there will only be two instead of five, plus the tournament in June.

    It’s important to note that this is a global project, for men’s football but also women’s football and youth tournaments. In the end, this is a project which answers to an assessment I’ve held my whole life: I’ve always been happier to get up in the morning when I know I’ll be watching a great match in the evening. And I’ve always said that that’s the real goal of a manager: to give supporters the hope of something beautiful.



  21. Normally international football doesn’t even
    make me flicker but What I really like about this idea is Arsene is putting it forward and that will grind the wobs to shit.


  22. Levante have signed former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi on an two-year contract, with an option for the third year that would take Mustafi past his 32nd birthday.


  23. Thanks Tim, good read.
    I think they have done the most sensible thing in the circumstances with these young players, we will have to hope the coaching at the club is up to it.
    Very early days, the team have started in difficult circumstances, let’s Wait and see the postpone games involving more favoured teams with a fraction of the infected players we had as the variant really takes hold in the autumn and winter.
    Glad Xhaka stays, he does make some rash tackles at times, but he is also refereed differently to other players, as we saw with Pogba recently
    Going to be a relatively tough season, bragging rights, of that’s your thing, might be hard to come by, but this club have made a lot of mistakes in recent years, let’s hope this summer is the start of putting things right , with some talented , hungry young players
    Also take the point that many have said, hopefully , this team will be young enough to adapt quickly in the event of a change of manager/ coaches
    Good luck to them, with these cheating referees and the media sensing relegation blood, headlines, and super league punishment for somebody, with opposing teams knowing they can punch our players in the face with no intervention from officials and VAR on top of media silence, they will need it


  24. Circles, my head is going round in circles: the Who.
    “I speak, but of nothing new” Fred in the Shed

    We swim around and often start drowning in the strange world of relativity, and its irritating greyness because we are reduced to opinions of infinite complexity in complex cause and effect in flux? Never a beginning, and no end to find, billions and trillions of polarities smashing and enabling and all other verbs. Even THE END would have to have no witnesses otherwise it wouldnt be an end, but still the on-going process.
    Lifes odd, we probably wouldnt eat three boiled eggs but we would use three eggsies in an omelette or for scrambled egg. Why so?
    I saw a certain group were putting up a drum- beating self congratulatory (its normal but if you disagree it often seems narcissistic and suspicious?)vid and I had a spy on this morning. Like for all for us, whenever we speak of what we think is truth,theres a subtle agenda, mostly, I suppose its that we thinking are right, and if we look we can only be for a few moment as all is in flux, whirled by cause and creating effect and so on and so on etc etc etc: the grand rapids of the mind viewing life through lenses that we mostly didnt kmake but accepted? But are we right? Or is it merely perspective? Right rises and with it wrong rises too, we can only know one by the other?Yet these can only be a perspective as we cant see the next steps and how they are perceived by us or society at large? PG and Shotts apparently were labelled as toxic, to me they arent, but in the wider sense they are only by those who think that being bottom of the league, beating a championship b side by 6 of the best, and losing three league games (-9 on goal difference) and not scoring is a ‘good’ thing. Those which such thoughts are of course in a democracy ‘right’ in the same way Im sure many people people think Mozart wasnt a genius and is boring.They have other ideas of genius and whats interesting. If we look often we dont articulate the scale of how we think about things in the arguments we make:
    “thats a great film!” or “thats a shit film!” but what do we mean, what is the greatest film ever made and what do we mean by great? The same thing applies to players, even the worst player for Arsenal ever was ‘better’ more talented than 99.9% of humans who have kicked a ball around?
    I started thinking how they said they were answering the haters. But who are the haters, and of course are they haters,and is dislike the same as hate? Why would someone hate this outlet? Is it that it had a massive effect as they felt Arsenal could easily climb a few positions and become all winning again. Glory glory etc Im bettee than you?At this moment they were utterly wrong, and this has had an effect on the club as a whole.And seeing things through that lens who might not feel difficult emotions towards those who enabled this moment of utter failure all argued in the name of success. Not to mention the main thing. The football is at this moment the worst in the p league, at least its yield is, whether they are the same probably isnt right but then they are bound together on the football love boat of life. And all those who like exciting technically developed,harmonious football are sitting on the dung heap of life with naff all to crow about, and dung stinks.Pfui! Maybe theres a few who are enjoying it, after all its a new experience one most of us dont know! And thats fair enough.
    Now we are bottom of the league, Im wrong to assume ( the old ass of u and me, me and you lots and lots for us to do?) that even the most liberal of supporters would think that this isnt so good, but thats not so. There will always be a spectrum of opinions and emotions, of course any of us who arent totalitarians will in a balanced moment want to applaud the ability that the internet can potentially offer, why we are so offended( Im a the top of the list) is a strange illness of our time. The internet did fulfil a few more elements of what democratic systems might be, which hasnt really been explored too much before?
    I remain sceptical of utopias, and the internet is one, of course it will evolve and soon we will have the ethical dilemmas of AI to deal with-and a massive big deal it will be too.The odd thing was when the nerds said they had created quantum supremacy, the world wide reaction was almost non- evident(comparatively), yet this is perhaps the most significant life changing event since fire? But it isnt transcendental, how can you transcend anything, even any metaphysical states must be here, or a part of here? But the combination of machine and mind will bring up unsolvable problems, in a way like all moral dilemmas: what have we ever really sorted out? We are still stuck in the same moral and ethical problems that have plagued us since the cave days. We have wasted millions of lives to introduced a one size fits all idea to relativity, and all was always doomed to fail, a cultural black hole that uses humans as means to ends, when the means is not even meant for humans and the end doesnt ever come. Me and you, you and me, lot and lots for us to see?
    So perhaps we can see all is toxic to someone and toxic it isnt at all? Yet we are karmic beings- karma just means action, vipakka is what John Lennon misunderstood ‘karma’ as being the ripening of those actions and that the west has misunderstood as retribution, karma isnt about retribution but balance, its state(whatever that is) knows no good or bad, those are ideas wrapped up in our subjective perspectives of it being played out, so what I mean is all is action, but how we deal and see with the ripening is our business( and take the consquences thus?), except all of us are operating at a limited consciousness level, I dont mean that nastily, perhaps then its easier to say that I am in case it seems its offensive, because how can we really know anything anyone else is thinking or feeling and we are all aware except we arent consciously sifting through it. What is consciousness?Someting so vast we can only get glimpses of it? So we are back to whats right and Im right and your wrong, but again we see its all relative. Reason and logic can be manipulated by clever minds that hate realtvity and wider inclusive perspectives. Except sometimes the relative system is bound by imposed rules that create systems: competitions, etc.Of course the are absurd when we look at the analytics and enthusiasm all of us put into sport and yet care of little of societal problems at large or care less than we feel. Ironically there little we can do for Society or sport as we are bound by systems that might be changing but still impose boundaries. But sport is a vessel for energy, and who knows what mischief people would do with that energy if it didnt get shoved into sport? But sport might be hampered by choice: wer hat die wahle hat die Qual, but we have at least a concrete idea of what is allowed and what isnt of what is success and what isnt. However these are still bound by relativity and flux. But its less abstract.Or does it?
    No we are stuck with grades of understanding and relative perspectives.What is toxic remains relative, abstract and bound by counter support structures that define ourselves.
    As humans we shall take standpoints even if its ever changing and creates enemies of a kind or are also enabled and validated by our stances. No matter how much I might like negative liberty and align with it Im unhappy enough in the world that I will turn to positive liberty and Im scared that its a flirt with absolutism, because Im not balanced or mature enough to live and let live. And in anycase even if we like negative liberty, liberty found for someone is liberty lost for someone, and most values are in conflict with one another, and thus equality seems a donkey carrot that we cant ever reach no matter how well meaing we are?
    At this moment all those who think being bottom of the league is part of the process must only be banking on hope? The evidence of yesterday may point to little, yet the hope that it will work out tomorrow is also as misleading? Dont get me wrong I stil hope all the time, Arsenal will do better, people will be a bit more harmonious, romance will no longer be a dirty word or idea, and that my life my get to where I always wanted it to be before I took on a thirty year kicking. I would give up the ghost if I didnt have hope. And all should be tolerated for having hope or clinging to it.
    But a process built on hope is doomed to fail? Football has no time for projects or processes anymore as theres simply too much invested in it. Hope might be a though tor enrgy but hat has to be translate and manifested. Of course the hopeful will say if we dont get relegated that it worked out. But what after a quarter century are we doing here, flirting with a relegation battle anyway?Who wanted that? Why would you want that? Maschoism? Why self destruct?Of course very system carries the seed of self destruction, but to want it carried out is anti evolution and all wants to survive? What is the meaning of your support if you want to self destruct? Some noble idea to give others a chance? “here Stanley, you have a go, we will taje your place!” Nice and very noble, but why are you invloved in sports competition in the first place, surely that vile enough?
    I dont like it but what can I do? Nix! Write here speak there?Joseph Beuys once did a marathon performance where he spoke to a dead hare, stating that it was easier to talk to a dead hare than to many humans. Maybe, maybe not, mostly its all about context and time, and when we are ready to try something? How can I change anyones minds? I cant. We can kick a few ideas around but would even want to change minds, when mine is not fixed?Plus I know jack poop really and would only lead everyone into the river, and its polluted enough. I was once lectured about ten years ago by a 19yr old who said the old way of football at Arsenal (ie under Wenger) was outdated and the only thing that could survive was big cash sugar daddy transfer joy. I didnt even bother to say anything, it was like I was overcome in a silence and just looked at him. He seemed like the dead hare. He didnt really know the club, its history its messed up, beautiful DNA.
    So if we are trapped in relativity, lost in liberty, fooled by freedom, and create and need countersupport structures we still have to make a stance, we are doomed by it and we have to pay for it but Im glad to be at PA and UA.Its an important set of viewpoints. If we admit we are relative surely ( dont call me shirley) you would think it would make other peoples ideas and stances easier to deal with? If we understood we dont speak the truth but relative truth would that make it easier? Probably not as we are conflicted with the idea of being right? Anyway undestanding an idea is easy, accepting an incorporating it as second nature isnt?PA might be called that but there was more going on than Positivity, it was connected with defending a high level of technically brilliant football and understanding the constarints and limits that the manager and team were having to deal with: limited financies corruption, biased elements in the game and the nurturing of talent so that could full express itself, ideas and notions of ethics and morality at a sports club in adverse times.
    Even if its older values have been seemingly swept away those ideas and ideals are still being upheld, and its not just older people here and at UA. What wrong with being old? Young and old are again bound up with one another, yet old knows young but not the other way. It might be doomed to fail, bu tthen again the San Sebastian film fest waved two fingers at all and stands its ground for quality before quantity. If we are doomed to break down more and more in post modernity then we need more voices, voices like UA etc, that are neither elitist nor bound by the in-crowd or current majority. As dignity is all we really have, if we have anything? Its seems a good thing to hold onto, especially as we saw the endless relative golden harvests is reaped? Its important to have nuanced views when tabloid style polarities cause so much daily damage, it all might be in the pursuit of love but weve ended up with love in a cold climate. Eecept we havent ended anywhere, we’ve just changed into something less comfortable.

    Sorry, didnt mean to get on one, as usual: viel lärm um nichts!


  25. Thought Liverpool got off very lightly from the various pundits after failing to make their one man supremacy count for a whole second half against Chelsea.


  26. Arsenal Women 3 (Miedema, Mead 2), Chelsea 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It was so good to see Saka expressing himself and displaying a full range of his talents.
    I am really hoping that Arsenal are able to facilitate his development but I’m not sure he will hang around that long if these green shoots don’t appear soon.


  28. Jeorge Bird
    Karl Hein kept a clean sheet for Estonia against Wales in a 0-0 draw and made some impressive saves.


  29. Interesting game tomorrow we always spank Norwich at home when it’s sunny, the anti ARSENAL boys favourites are back and the ones they hate in Xhaka and Mo are out so a heavy win will give them the opportunity to demand they never play in red and white again.
    Actually seeing the new boys and a big win without falling asleep or praying for a shot on target should prove for a great afternoon so I’m looking forward to the game and then stay away from all the fall out afterwards.
    It would be nice to see the return of Eddie at some point but I can’t see that happening.
    Saka should be pretty fresh so most of our first eleven should be firing on all cylinders.


  30. The game tomorrow is not only a must win but how we would we win is going to be crucial. It needs to be a dominant display that virtually shuts out Norwich right from the kick-off. Anything else and the question marks over Arteta continue.
    A draw and Arteta has both feet upto his hip in the grave. A loss and he’s dead n buried.


  31. Really can’t see anything but a huge win maybe even 5-0. This is a fixture we always love and they always hate especially in the sun.


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