It’s Mathieu!!! And If There’s No Sami…


So, welcome to Arsenal, Mathieu Debuchy. There was air of excitement when Serge Aurier’s name floated like Mario Balotelli on an early pre-season wave of expectation. Instead we have a right back who has played well enough in a struggling Premier League team to retain his place in one of Europe’s top eight national teams. If that doesn’t bode well for Arsenal, then God knows what will for such a demanding audience.

Debuchy gives many positives for the club. It is a signing that reeks of forethought in an industry where snap judgements are praised. Arsenal have replaced a player with one who is ahead of him in the same national squad. It’s the defensive equivalent of signing Benzema. It’s okay, I had a tin helmet on when I wrote that. It held firm.

With a 28 year-old that’s a strange train of thought but on the face of it, Debuchy is a signing for the future. Not his but Carl Jenkinson to develop without the pressure of being first XI right back. Unless Arsène has made an astonishing u-turn in his thinking, Jenkinson remains firmly in his long-term plans in the same way he was when he was given a five-year deal not so long ago. Those players were viewed as the core of the team in the future and it would be a surprise if short-termism held sway now. But it is football we’re talking about and nothing should surprise us.

That Leonil Messi paid more than €50m to the Spanish tax authorities last year did raise an eyebrow though. Not in the sum in question but how much must he have earned to rack up that bill. Even if you take out the settlement from previous years, it is still a staggering amount to pay over.

A lot of Jenkinson’s immediate future depends on the club’s options at right back. Manvilo is still eyed by Wenger and with Fahti on trial, West Ham’s aspirations to sign Jenkinson on loan could well be realised. Crucially though, if he is going out on loan, Arsenal need some assurances that he will gain more first team experience than he would get by remaining at the club. I am not sure whether the club would have enough leverage with a Premier League club to insist on a set number of appearances in the season or even if such a clause is enforceable but going to Big Sam’s Up And Under Academy will serve no purpose if all the youngster is just going to sit on the bench. He can do that at Arsenal and have the chance to play in the Champions League.

The prospect of that competition is one of Debuchy’s reasons for joining the club and it also means Arsenal need decent cover at right back. Whether either of the alternative options offer that remains to be seen. Wenger was quite clear that whoever the second choice is, they are likely to get a significant number of games,

“There is nobody today who can play 60 games at the top level – that’s why you always need two players.”

It is a signal of the changing circumstances of the club that so far this summer we have seen precious little investment in the untried players. Youth is important but is it a case of giving Andries Jonker the chance to stamp his authority over the playing staff at the younger levels, before bringing in more slightly older players at the more senior level? Where, for example, is this summer’s Yaya Sanogo? People keep saying Wenger has or has not changed. Perhaps he is adapting his philosophy in recognition of the different circumstances in his work rather than a fundamental shift that is implied.

Whatever the case, there is more to come. To me there are still a couple more signings to come, before we get into the realms of replacing departures. That none beyond those whose contracts have run out have left is indicative of one fundamental shift this summer. Arsenal do not have to sell to buy and can afford to wait before doing so. Being given that breathing space allows those involved in addressing the more important aspect of the window, strengthening.

Talk of Thomas Vermaelen’s future is clouded by the club’s desire to offer him a  new deal. For the player, leaving is the easy option but if he does go to United, for example, he has no guarantee that he will not find himself in the same boat in twelve months time. The only way he will guarantee first XI football is if he goes to a smaller club and does that really seem ambitious? Admirable as wanting to play regularly rather than sitting and taking wages is, to be willing to fight for a place in XI at a big club shows more fight than walking into a cushier number. Of course, there has to be an inkling that staying may lead to a starting line-up position and in that sense, I would be surprised if Vermaelen feels that opportunity exists for him at Arsenal. It strikes me that Wenger felt that he had offered the Belgian enough chances when he dropped him in 2012/13 and no matter how well he plays when called upon, the drop in form by Koscielny or Mertesacker would have to be catastrophic for Vermaelen to capitalise. In that respect, I would not be surprised if he leaves at all.

Elsewhere, this morning’s Daily Express has emphatically ended Arsenal’s interest in the remorseful Sami Khedira so expect his signing next week. Clement Grenier, according to the same newspaper, is not signing for anyone until he knows Arsenal’s intentions but given we’ve got Abou Diaby back in training, it’s like having a new signing, isn’t it? It is. Isn’t it?

’til Tomorrow.

131 thoughts on “It’s Mathieu!!! And If There’s No Sami…

  1. I’m starting to hate Liverpool fans. Bunch of bitter poisonous twats.

    One season they get back in the Champions League and they are the best thing since sliced bread.

    They’re all like a bunch of children.

  2. Miami,

    There’s always two sides to any argument — and I understand your point too.

    Without knowing all the facts, it is all just opinions — good – bad – and indifferent.

    And mine tend to fit all three. 🙂

  3. Crikey, JonJon,

    Wenger’s got a touch of the ‘transfer stupids’?

    Why? What’s he done wrong now! You are a hard task master! 😀

  4. @Moe

    Isn’t it funny how so many of them are saying that Sterling and Sturridge are better than Sanchez. Or the fact that they won’t miss Suarez who single handely(goals + assists) accounted for damn near half their goals.

    It will be a rude awakening for them this year and I for one hope we truly do put them to the sword.

  5. Miami

    “Shoehorning” or whatever term you like is an accurate assessment of the logic I used in this case. Using past history as a guide to help guess what will happen in the future is time honored and certainly the most accurate way we have. Using that approach with regards to evaluating players who have been on loan has been as close to 100% accurate as is possible over the past 6 years that I have been following the blog. I can’t think of a player who was not been able to consistently make the starting 11 while on loan that ever really helped our first team. Why would I even consider changing that approach when it has been that accurate in the past?

    Eventually there will probably be an exception to the rule and perhaps Bellerin will be it. However, I assume that the manager that came to Watford would be very anxious to have his new team get the best possible results and he would use the best players he had available especially if that player had been playing well before he came. If someone is going to play for Arsenal even as a squad player you would expect him to be a standout player for a team like Watford. I understand that a new manager might try to favor the players who were going to be with his team next season but I seriously doubt he would shoot himself in the foot and hurt his results and drop Bellerin if he had been playing well. Perhaps that is incorrect but it seems like the most logical assumption. No?

  6. C

    I used to like them, i thought Rodgers had a touch of class. But my god talk about a massive ego, i hope Man Utd kick Liverpool out of the top four. I have never seen such a bunch of fans being so entitled withouth having achieved anything for a long time.

    Van Gaal, please kick these people of the top four.

    Here’s Rodgers talking about why Sanchez went to Arsenal:

    “That is one where the
    geography dictated where he wanted to

    Liverpool make me laugh.

  7. 😆
    dont get me twisted Mr B..
    im just saying IF we sign grenier…

    weve done well so far no complaints from me..we just dont need grenier…otherwise we should have signed cesc…

  8. cant remember me ever liking liverpool to be honest..
    they are probably second behind spurs in the list of shittest clubs ever..
    UTD gained ground during the wenger/fergie wars and chelsea have come from nowhere since roman..
    but liverpool have always been…whats the word….tossers…

  9. JonJon,

    We are as one! 🙂

    This is what I said at 9:40 this morning;

    — “I really rate Grenier, but he is more of a Cazorla or Özil type, so I do not see AW being interested in him”

  10. sanchez came the club that won a trophy last year and spent 40mil on a world class player year before..
    he wasnt going to a club that wins fuck all and thats selling its best player..
    and to be honest didnt help their cause that liverpools a complete shit hole..

  11. Liverpool was never going to repeat last seasons title contending run even with Suarez unless they improved the defense significantly.

    Suarez is a great player but I don’t think they would have been able to score more then 100 goals again under any circumstances even if he stayed. . I can’t even see them holding on to a top 4 spot without Suarez. His ability to move the ball forward at pace and get the ball into dangerous positions before the defense set up was the single biggest attacking weapon they had. The fact that he was the most advanced Liverpool player on the pitch and could move forward with the ball at his feet or by passing it and he was such a threat to score himself or set up a counterattack for someone else made them so much more dangerous.

  12. @Moe

    The only thing bigger than Rogers ego though would be Van Gaal’s.

    Liverpool fan’s are so entitled and not really sure why but o well fuck them! Rogers are turned into quite the pompous asshole since Suarez helped them challenge for the title last year, it will be a joy to watch them crash out of the group stages of the CL and then fight for Europa spot in the PL.

    I do think though that Van Gaal might run into some problems to be honest, lets not forget that at Bayern the players turned on him in the 1st year and by the 2nd he was being ran out of town, same with him at every stop. Not to mention, I wonder how Rooney is going to take to RvCunt being named Captain lol.

  13. @JJ

    Not to mention, Sanchez probably took a look at the squads and probably thought to himself:

    “Liverpool, shit city and I would be playing with Countinho, Sterling, Sturridge, Henderson, Lallana, Gerrard and Lambert with Rogers as my manager.”

    “London, fucking great city and I would be playing with Theo, Ozil, Santi, Ox, Giroud, Ramsey, Jack, Mozart, and Podolski with Arsene as my manager, really fucking tough decision that one is ;-)!”

  14. They have this massive superiority complex, i don’t where they got that from!

    C sums it up,just look at the squads for gods sake.

  15. fuck Baloteli, i don’t care How talented he is. He will whinge and sulk if he isn’t made the #1 striker. He needs to be forever man managed and ego stroked. He’s a selfcentred twat who may be a funny nice caring guy but ultimately it’s always about him….I should write’ Him’. No matter how hard a teammate works to provide him an easy tap in he’ll forever celebrate as if the goal is about HIm not the create supplier or creator of the chance. I think Arsene is concerned about the team ethos and Mario forgets about the collective. He’s potentially toxic. He’s the guy we would go for if he is the last decent striker standing… but we have Sanchez now. I’d rather try and develop Sanogo against shit teams.

  16. I don’t think we should take the media speculation about Jenks going out on loan seriously. The media make so much up just so that when one of their flights of fancy come good, they can say, I told you so. Khedira’s agent says there have been no negotiations with either Arsenal or Chelsea. OK, he could be lying. Someone certainly is – either him or the media whores. I know who my money’s on.
    Others have already quoted what Arsene said about Jenks and that’s good enough for me. Jenks counts as one of the 8 home-grown for the CL, so that may be part of the equation. Don’t believe all the Manquilla stuff. I imagine Bellerin will stay for the Cap1 Cup (if that’s what it’s called this year) and then, depending on what he shows, maybe go out on loan again in January.
    It’s clear when looking at the squad we still need another experienced keeper and a DM. And a centre back if Vermaelen wants to go. Djourou and Miquel are not good enough – I’ve had hopes for both of them at different times, but they’re both below the level we need. And the youngsters don’t have the experience.
    I think Arsene wants to have a real go at the PL and CL this season so he’ll be trying to build a squad that can do it.
    The next acquisitions will be interesting, but I’ll wait until announces them – the media can do one.

  17. YW,

    Your paragraph related to Debuchy is SPOT ON.

    What I also see as a common feature in the two players we signed so far is their tenacity with fire in their belly type of players.

    Great job so far on the transfer work, we still need to handle Vermaellen’s possible departure. If he’s friend’s with Van Persie, let him go…..I will not forget the weird goal he gifted his friend at Old Trafford. We just need to make sure his position is covered.

    Looking forward to tomorrow game, it probably already early morning in the UK.

    Happy New Arsenal Season!

    I fucking love this club so much………..And no, I’m not drunk!

  18. I wonder if the Manquilla stuff was a bit of smoke and mirrors to make Debuchy and his 20% believe we didn’t have all our eggs in their basket?

    As it played out, Newcastle stalled for about a week until they had a confirmed replacement and I respect that

    I would imagine most agents knowing that they had a deal done but there would be at least a few days before anyone signed anything would’ve taken the piss and kept on trying to improve his deal.

    Spinning another RB signing might just keep that in check?

  19. NO Manquilo.

    As I have explained, we do not negotiate with a particular player without appearing to have other possibilities. It would lend initiative to the selling club.

    Plus it does not make any sense to have two new RBs. Both will have to settle and we are effectively doubling the risk.

    Also Jenkinson AND Bellerin will (have to be ) given opportunity to grow organically. Whilst they are no where near the full product, both still represent enormous potential.

    Manquilo isn’t a proven product either and has had few appearances for Atheletico.

    Similarly the hype in the media over Aurier is frankly stupid. He is not that great a player as statistics would otherwise suggest. Nor was his world cup anything to write home about frankly.

    Debuchy is a great choice (Sans Coleman due to pricing) as he is ready to go in the PL.

    There is also a reason why he is keeping Sagna out of the French squad for those in the media too thick to do a bit of thinking.

    Aurier to me is the same prescribe by the media that suggested MVilla, Gustavo, Wanyama were the best solutions to our problems. None have gone on to stellar levels lately.

    We track players all the time but that does not necessarily mean we have begun proceedings to even explore the possibility of a purchase.

    The situation is similar with Khedira.

    Likely Khedira at the moment represents an early opportunity buy where we are a bit ahead of the game for our eventual Arteta replacement due to pricing on the German.

    If he falls through, it does not mean we are active in the hunt for another DM. Arteta and Flamini 9with the very ocassional Diaby showing) are good for the next season. We do not have to visit the issue till next summer as frankly, this isn’t an urgent requirement (Cback should be)

    The likes of Schneiderlin or bender again are names that we prob keep track off but really won’t have intention to buy this summer.

    One has to remember that buying a player in the market is a bit of a haggle. It isn’t like going into a shop and buying something fixed price.

    Therefore the possibility of us having options when exploring a certain player of interest helps us in our position to a certain degree.

    I have explained the Ozil bid and why very likely this is not a panic buy at last minute.

    It cannot be.

    Firstly, Madrid are not stupid (with exception of selling Ozil of course), they would want to confirm that they can balance the book with the player sale and not leave it to risk last minute.

    Secondly, we are not the only club in need of an attacking mid (Remember United and Fabregas) nor are we the only ones able to meet 42.3m

    More likely aside from waiting for the conclusion of the Bale deal, it also benefited us that some of our potential rivals to Ozil’s signature had fallen off bc they had already commited money at that stage.

    We had soften the road ahead of time with soft influence (both Metersecker and Wenger) on the player which is an important element. As much as say Madrid would want to sell to for arguments sake Spurs bc of their ‘strategic alliance’, if the player desires to come to us bc we offer continuous CL and frankly are a better club, Madrid have to respect that.

    You would have to ask then why despite lack of trophies at that stage, Arsenal still represented an attractive option to Ozil 9or indeed Khedira currently)

    The possibility of Ozil’s capture at end of transfer window meant Wenger had to reserve sufficient funds for a big bid at the end which unduely impacted both the Higuain and Suarez bid by restricting spending then to 40m or under.

    Frankly, it is a bit naive to suggest Arsenal go in entirely without a game plan for Ozil.

    In current instance, we are concluding Sanchez early bc again he has an affection to come to us first and foremost. Of course being able to meet wage and asking price is a given.

    The other issue this summer is that we are likely to conclude our deal earlier in general bc of the world cup affect to prices compounded by the fact that certain deep pocketed clubs like United are going to attempt to undertake wholesale restructuring and may affect the market. of course one thing that counts in our favour versus them would be that we consistently win the fourth place pot.

    There has been little difference in the way we approach signings IMO. This is a figment in the imagination of those who think they know better but who are unable to grasp how a market works. It is NOT a fixed price world and there are many moving parts.

  20. Back up keeper next. Ospina will do thank you.

    Then Cback.

    Vermaelen’s issue is not hat he is a reasonable back up but that he cannot force his way into rotation with meterscielny.

    We need a player who can.

    We will be risking it if not.

    Maybe Wenger may give Miquel a chance as 4th choice Cback but we will need someone solid as third choice.

    Likely somone who has both attributes of Koscielny’s speed (some of it) and Metersecker’s height (some of it). also crucially 25 and under would be ideal as both Metersecker and Koscielny are 27++, as is by the way Vermaelen.

    This is very much priority before a DM which can really await next summer. Arteta and Flamini (with ocassional Diaby appearances) will be good enough for next season.

  21. Mourinho says Chelsea spending complete.

    Ball is back in our court with Khedira unless Madrid are committed to keeping him.

  22. No Baloteli.

    He is a bad influence in the dressing room. We do not need that/

    No Loic Remy. Not good enough. See Liverpool.

    Campbell is better.

  23. No Carlos Vela either. Can’t even make the Mexican team.

    yes Debuchy, there is a reason why he keeps Sagna out of the first team for france.

    Statistics won’t tell you (unless you are looking for it) that he is also more PL ready and at 28, will afford us time to assess BOTH Jenkinson and Bellerin.

    If you listent o some quarters of the press, you will become thick, they will say stupid things like Wenger is signing another of his french chums when we have only 4 French players (5 if you count the oft absent Diaby) as oppose to 6 brits and a growing contingent of germans and Spaniards.

    What’s interesting is how Brits, French, germans and Spaniards practically make the majority of our team at the moment. Just 4 nationalities. We have zero Africans at the moment for a good reason.

  24. Mention last season that Suarez will leave this summer having failed last summer.

    Liverpool for all their second place finish simply does not have an allure at the moment. Look no further than England’s world cup squad made primarily of Liverpool fodder. Without Suarez (and maybe Sterling), Liverpool are an average team and will struggle with CL additional footy.

    Suarez sale to Barca has sealed us Sanchez.

    Why did he not go to Liverpool? Are Barca and Madrid becoming our feeder club? So funny on so many levels.

  25. Well, well, well. That asshole Maureenio is starting his crap comments early this year.

    He said that Cesc did not want to return to Arsenal but always wanted to join Chelsea.
    What utter crap. Fabregas did not get the chance to rejoin Arsenal. Mr Wenger turned HIM down thank you very much.

    Just for one second, let’s suspend the truth – if Fabregas did want to go to Chelsea and not Arsenal, then Maureen has made Fabregas out to be a liar, and publicly held him up to ridicule and derision.

  26. @santori

    you’re having a laugh mate if you think that we don’t need to prioritise a CDM this transfer window. Relying on an ageing and slowing Arteta, a feisty but ultimately past his prime Flame (I love him, but up against fit 25 year olds in midfield, all he can do is get physical and foul), and Mr. egg-shell-for-bones Diaby….no chance in hell. That’s the main reason we came unstuck against the top 5 away from home last season. And those players are all a year older….they aren’t getting any better.

Comments are closed.