Khedira, Carvalho & Internationals At Risk

bs2In the world of Arsenal, it’s slim pickings this morning. Ho and indeed, ho.

Midfield is pre-occupying many minds with Real Madrid desperate to recoup some cash by selling Sami Khedira to Arsenal instead of the German taking a season’s pay and then signing for Bayern Munich for nothing. Khedira has apparently been in Bavaria for talks but is willing to drop his Arsenal pay demands by 10% to an eye-catching £225k per week before the taxman takes it down to a paltry £134k. I’m not sure his Mr20% is really understanding the new money-rich Arsenal has not taken leave of its senses. Entirely. Of course that sum could be just newspaper talk as could the resurrection of this move, one designed to provoke the club back to the negotiating table and in no way should it be considered a last desperate throw of the dice by his employers to get £24m instead of losing that plus a year’s wages. No…

At the same time, Douglas Costa is fast becoming this year’s Yann M’vila although he has yet to have his 21,485th sighting at Colney for a medical. The red light flashed and klaxon sounded at Arsenal Transfer HQ as the English media reported that the Portuguese media had reported that William Carvalho has been put up for sale by Sporting Lisbon. It suggests that Arsenal’s negotiating stance was something like, “£24m OK? No? Oh, we’ll get back to you on that one…“, followed by a lengthy silence. Have Sporting blinked first in the game of transfer chicken?

What’s interesting in all this midfielder talk is the absence of protestations that we don’t need him which would have arisen in previous years. Gradually, there is an understanding that a squad needs competition if Arsenal are to challenge on multiple fronts over the course of a season. Well, unless you are talking about forwards and then the immediate assumption is that you don’t think Olivier Giroud is good enough. Oh, hello Brick Wall, good to talk to you again.

Midfield is, it seems to me, the last piece of business that Arsenal are likely to do this summer unless provoked into action by sales. With United being rebuffed by just about everyone when it comes to central defenders, Thomas Vermaelen remains the only peg on which that hat can be hung. It still seems likely that the Belgian will go, his absence from the Austrian training camp assumed to be down to negotiations although the reasons may not be that sinister given he picked up an injury in the World Cup which could require treatment. Thanks for the straws, I’ll hold onto them for a while longer.

That dilemma underlines how difficult it is to keep seasoned internationals happy when they are not playing. Wenger has found a partnership which works – or works better than Vermaelen and Koscielny or Mertesacker – and no matter what happens in terms of injuries or suspensions, he will revert to the trusted ones until they let him down over a time and necessity forces him to review the situation. That’s the way of the footballing world and is harsh on the player left out, particularly if they have international aspirations.

It’s why in many respects David Ospina took something of a brave decision to join Arsenal. He knows that he will have to be patient with little chance of first team action immediately; his international career could be damaged as a result of that and it puts pressure on himself to perform, to put himself into contention in the manager’s mind. It puts Wojciech Szczesny under more pressure than he has been before. Even when he was dropped from the side a couple of seasons back, you sensed that he would begin the following season as first choice. That was emphasized when having recovered from injury, Lukasz Fabianski was not restored to the side despite having played well whilst his compatriot was left on the bench. Was that the time the elder of the Poles knew his time at the club had come to an end?

The choices in each position is interesting from Arsène’s point of view. The footballing cliché is that he will have the selection headache he will like but also tests his patience in players. Previously, it could be argued that some kept their place in the starting XI through lack of options, irrespective of their own form. Looking around the squad now, there is an element that suggests Wenger can be more ruthless with players in the event of a poor game or two. Will he act in those circumstances more swiftly than before or is the patriarchal, nurturing instinct too strong?

Whatever the case is, with the summer activity so far and that still to come, Wenger is giving himself a strong shot at competing for silverware on a consistent basis going forward. Going out in blaze of glory indeed.

’til Tomorrow.

189 thoughts on “Khedira, Carvalho & Internationals At Risk

  1. @Jonny

    I believe google+ or google hangout or whatever the fudge it is called allows people from different places to actually talk about subjects via the net. I could have this all confused, given I’m not the most tech savvy Kiwi/American in the world.

  2. I’m trying to think which movie star Jonny looks most like…Yes, got it: Wilfrid Brambell.

    Google+ didn’t like my username; may resurrect that idea again. Another thing to stop me spending time with the family 😉

  3. “I’m trying to think which movie star Jonny looks most like…”

    perhaps everyone should take a punt and we’ll just stick with the funniest, of course the majority have never met Jonny so it could be fun 🙂

    I think Bob mentioned Garbo… I’ll have to find that post again… thin lips or some such

  4. @Bill

    We have certainly been at loggerheads at times, but I think you know that from my soap box the arguments were never personal. I’d still let you buy me beer 🙂

  5. Erm – when exactly are you referring to?

    Regardless I think it has always been idiosyncratic horses for courses – and I don’t subscribe to any suggestion that it always fell down neatly delineated channels.

    Personally I would have taken a new ‘proper DM’ at any point since Patrick left. Impossible to replace him of course but it’s not difficult to make a case that we have never really tried to. Song was the closest but that did not work out and even when he did blossom as an interesting player he quickly departed.

    I like Arteta – he has done an amazing job considering he has had to adapt his game but it’s pretty clear he has never been the presence that most fans would have hoped for.

    Two players i love to pieces are Rosicky and Diaby but having both in the squad has been undoubtedly costly by their inability to contribute when injuries struck.

    I won’t continue as I am not sure whether I am answering your question…

  6. @NorthBonkers

    Just a wee factoid, 1977 was the first year I started supporting Arsenal. I will however concede that my interest then as a 6 year old in New Zealand was not the same as it is now.

  7. “@NorthBonkers

    Just a wee factoid, 1977 was the first year I started supporting Arsenal. I will however concede that my interest then as a 6 year old in New Zealand was not the same as it is now.”

    Actually I have 5 when that game kicked off and it may have been later in the year when my uncle returned from England with an Arsenal shirt 🙂

  8. Have you guys seen the short video of Campbell skinning Monreal in Austria?

    He certainly has pace and some fancy footwork.

  9. The very cheek Yogi – I haven’t even mentioned about your past singing for Bad Manners.

    I already picked Els up on that an’ all!

  10. “I believe google+ or google hangout or whatever the fudge it is called allows people from different places to actually talk about subjects via the net”

    Is this not what we do already?

  11. Hi Yogi. Yeah I suggest that the fans that would have rather stuck with the likes of Arteta, Flamini or other midfielders over the defensive midfielders of M’villa, Cana… showed loyalty. I for one think that that has been proven to be the correct way to go. That’s based on the accpetance that we didn’t have the money to invest in the quality that we needed. But the fees suggested for M’villa were comparable to Bender and whoever we are targeting now. Not wages though. We couldn’t pay the wages of SK then or now in my opinion.

  12. I hope Campbell get’s a chance and takes it, he’s quick, strong and has a good finish! I think we’ve had a lot worse on our bench in Bentner and Chamahk

  13. C @ 3:13:

    Touche. You got me. 😉


    Interesting discussion. Historically very few players are able to maintain the sort of finishing percentage that Rambo had last season. His was not just above average but it felt like he was quite a ways above the players on the good end of the Gaussian distribution. There will always be a few players who are able to consistently do that and hopefully that will be Aaron. However, if you look at history then the the logical conclusion then is that Rambo will always be an excellent player but his finishing percentage is more likely then not to move back closer towards the median. Perhaps I am not using the terminology in the way a mathematician would but doesn’t that make sense?

  14. Sorry Jonny very unclear. You did answer the question in a roundabout way. Your highlighting of “more loyal fans” I was unsure if that had bothered you. Don’t s’pose it matter either way. My original point was a different thing entirely.

  15. If that avatar is really a picture of Jonny, then I would have to say that he has a distinct resemblance to Matthew Rhys, who plays the Russian spy in the TV series The Americans.

  16. I always think that Jonny has Howard Marks as his Avatar. Or was that just his previous B&W one?

  17. Not overly ‘bothered’ but it does sound a touch supercilious. 😀

    Hmmm what about the fans who painfully suggested we show never ending loyalty to Santos, Bentner, Gervinho, Chamackh, Arshavin – simply because they wore the shirt???

    Some fans were wrong about MVila (myself included) but that is not to suggest there were no players available and that at other times we were not right. The very obvious need for players that was not addressed clearly led to fans not thinking especially clearly – on both sides.

    I don’t being blindly loyal to players who are not anymore (or never were) good enough for the club is necessarily a great example of loyalty to the club and in it’s best interests.

    In fact, I think its a pretty reductive metric by which to measure ‘loyalty’.

  18. There may be some confusion over Jonny’s avatar, but Bill’s is clearly the famous Mister Ed.

  19. Bill,

    I posted a comment to you that appears to have disappeared into the ether. Anyway this is what I was saying.

    You are right that there is a logic to what you are saying based on the experience of watching sportsmen in differing disciplines.

    Birdkamp explained that he used the term ‘anomalous’ in a literal sense, and not strictly a mathematical one.
    So I was by definition wrong to proceed to pull your leg — sadly I have never learned from experience to curb my humour.

    Apologies! And be certain I would never verbally abuse anyone on the blog by name calling or worse, as I know only too well that I have too many shortcomings of my own to do so. 🙂

  20. @MLF

    I think he will get a shot given the fact that Theo still isn’t fit and Ox is returning from injury. Unless ofcourse Arsene pulls another rabbit out of his hat and gets Reus 😉

  21. Tim Lovejoy was in The Americans?

    If so, who the friggle is Tim Lovejoy? He must be famous if he looks like Jonny. 🙂

  22. Apart from a period where it was an arsenal dog collar my avatar has always been me. Used my own name too – I’m pretty uncomplicated at times.

    All the rest of ya hiding behind ya horses and sausages and anonymity.

    Tim Fucking Lovejoy??! That’s the last straw! Them’s fighting words ya no good varmint.

  23. C

    Reus is still very injured unfortuantly. I’ve a sneaky suspicion Man U will end up with Vidal and Rues in this window…

  24. Tim Lovejoy use to be the host of Soccer AM, a show I would watch in the UK.

    Never liked the Americans, I feel weird wanting the main characters to knifed, shot or meet some other end.

  25. C

    A more realistic option for me would be sell Santi if he want’s to go for about £20million, then use that straight away + £5million for Isco, who following the arrival of Rodriques won’t get much of a looking! Isco is a fantastic player, much the same as Santi but quicker so LW is taken care of

  26. “Tim Fucking Lovejoy??! That’s the last straw! Them’s fighting words ya no good varmint.”

    lol, come on, admit that wee picture makes you look like Tim “fucking” Lovejoy 🙂

  27. But he’s a fucking c – Oh wait. I see your point.

    I think everyone else should have pictures of themselves. No way do I believe Bill is a talking horse.

    Talking horseshit? Well maybe sometimes. 😉

  28. Henry:

    Nothing wrong with using humour and I would suggest that you should never stop doing that. The problem is with me since I have not figured out your unique brand of humour and I never know when that is what you are trying to do.

  29. You are not alone in that, Bill. You are in good company.

    Just remember, I am only on blogs to enjoy the company of others and to engage in the chat — that does not include being personally shitty to anyone. The humor ….. well, there is no excuse for that …… 😉

  30. (It looks more like the very opposite of Tim “Fucking” Lovejoy…)

    Loyalty? We should measure that by how much Andre Santos we can stand 🙂 Personally, I always tried to be loyal to the club as an entity (that corporate sh*t again…), which sometimes meant being at loggerheads with the likes of Bill over whether our transfer policy was good or bad and what we did wrong or right… I’d say true loyalty is when you criticise, but only constructively, and support wholeheartedly. So, it’s not about expenses – ours or club’s – but about thinking and feeling.
    But I’m a hopeless (and skint) romantic 🙂

  31. Jonny. Hmm I don’t think anyone supports the club no matter what. I do however support what the manager does. This is because he has on a million occasions shown that he knows what he’s doing (understatement of the year) and that he is in a far better position to judge on the happenings of current players. That includes the impact new signings may have.

    When it comes to the list of players you have stated. Yeah Gervinho and Arshavin for me are still fantastic players. Sometimes it can take only a small difference to get a player back into form. The same people that would chastise you for supporting this list now take massive joy from Ramseys performances. Truth is we know nowt. None of us. Not in the grand scheme of things. That’s why I chose to put faith in what Wenger is doing. 9 times out of 10 he’ll get it bang on. Sometimes though it takes a while for him to be proven right.

    It seems pointless to sit and criticise a player like Santos or Denilson. Play the hand your dealt and enjoy the fuck out of it if you can.

  32. Given my love of that species of animal and the numbers time that I have stepped in it and shoveled it I consider it high praise when my name is somehow mentioned with horseshit. Thanks for the kind words. 😉

  33. @Bill

    How many you have now and are they all for riding? I absolutely love horses, enjoyed riding them through the years though I am very much an amateur rider. Hell, I even fractured my skull riding when I lost control of a horse that had bolted, still got back in the saddle. The nil by mouth for 9 days whilst in hospital sucked ass however and is not recommended to anyone.

  34. Zdzis

    I agree with your post but it’s a slippery slope when we are getting back to the old debate about trying to define what constitutes a good and loyal fan. I don’t think there is a definition of that in Webster’s dictionary and it is different for everyone.


    We have no choice to accept the hard we are dealt such as Denilson since we can’t change anything. However I don’t think it means that we shouldn’t have discussions regarding whether or not we might have a better chance to win if we had a different player in his position. That’s has been what fans have done for as long as there have been pubs and water coolers and now blogs where people discuss professional sports.

  35. Miami:

    My wife is the lifelong horse lover and about 3 years ago she started adopting abused horses and needed my help to clean stalls etc. I did it somewhat begrudgingly as a way to make her happy but now I have become completely hooked. We have 8 horses right now of which only 4 are actually ours. 2 of those were adopted horses that we fell in love with and could not let them go. We currently have other 4 foster horses that we are trying to get healthy enough to be trained and then hopefully adopted by a good family. I am a relative novice rider and I still struggle at times to be the alpha entity in my relationship with the animal especially with a couple of our horses so I understand your falling off. So far its happened to me twice and fortunately no injuries to date.

  36. Horses!
    Dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle !
    I grew up with horses and have been thrown of more times than I can remember. I still love a good ride on the beach though. Something about falling in the soft sand I think.

  37. Douglas Costa, the latest media solution to all of Arsenal’s woes

    Like Chris Samba, Yann Mvilla, Victor Wanyama, Luiz Gustavo, Mitrogolou, Mikitharian, all supposed solutions that have flattered to deceive thus far.:)

  38. @MLF & Henry

    I forgot for a second there. I would still sign Reus and keep Campbell and see how he does especially with Theo out injured, and then once Theo and Reus get back evaluate how well Campbell does and potentially sell him in the winter or next summer.

  39. Bill. Discussion fine. Whining, moaning, protesting, booing at matches, victimising players. That’s a slippery slope for you. Nobody can deny that our fans have been guilty of all of that at times. If you ask me it comes from a lack of respect for what this club and manager has achieved, continues to achieve and what it stands for. Anyway I’m bored because it’s all been said before.

    Just happy to be a supporter of this glorious club whether it’s best days are ahead or behind it.

  40. OTOH,

    Carvalho looks interesting.

    Could be re-roled as a Cback, and defintely more experienced than Chambers who would be 4th choice and RB with Bellerin competing.

    Hard to imagine what we’ve spent thus far dispelling the media myth that we are likely not to spend and panic buy…similar to what we’ve done with the “How many years since Arsenal won a trophy mantra now oddly missing.;)

    Debuchy – 11m
    Chambers – 11m
    Ospina 3m
    Sanchez 33m

    that is 58m outlay

    We may likely spend another 12m at minimum for a Cback to take the total to 70m


    Another 8m say for a “Michu” type stop gap and send Sanogo on loan to take the total to 80m

    or forgo a striker back up (or get it on loan) and add 22m for Khedira.

    Who says FFP had no impact?

    What a summer.

  41. Els.

    I agree that it is a very stale subject with slippery slopes whichever way you turn so best to leave it alone.

  42. I think we’re being a little harsh on “Tweety Bird” Silvestre. If ANYONE knows about Arsenal signing the the type of player that the club doesn’t need it would be him…..after all he was one.
    One should never discount the value of experience.

    Though we should have in his case.

  43. Bill I’ll agree with that at least. 😉

    So what do you make of our current defensive stalwarts. Catch me up.

  44. I have given some thought to what constitutes ‘loyalty’ from my perspective, and it is a bit more complicated than it seems.

    I guess the usual definition is about right: a strong feeling of support or allegiance.

    So that is straightforward – right? – well yes, I support my team and my club and I have an undoubted allegiance to both entities. (they are somewhat separate in my mind).

    But you know, there is no way to say that what I mean by that (in terms of what is involved) is the same as the next guy or the next. Worse, as a typical human being I can be changeable, and if I get out of bed on the wrong side one morning, I can be a bit of a tart, and find fault where, on another occasion I would let the same thing slide.

    Logically, I suppose that I am a bit that way with loyalty too. Not knowingly, you understand, but it is the way it is with all of us, I would think.

    The obvious example of that is, despite believing that Wenger has been the best thing since sliced bread, and am prepared to defend him to all comers, after a horrendous and unexpected defeat to “Pool and/or the Chavs, I descended into a disconsolate state, and, at least to myself, questioned the manager.

    Now was that a lack of loyalty, or was it an inevitable consequence of a loss or two that may have cost us the title, and was simply an understandable blip because I am only human?

    Ditto with the players. I feel I am loyal to them, in as much as I have never ‘boo-ed’ them when they play for the Arsenal, but I have questioned the suitability of this one or that, if their legs have gone, or they have cost us the game because of some avoidable aberration.

    There it is again. The human issue.
    Each of us has his own differing tolerance levels, be it friendship or loyalty, so it is pointless to talk about ‘x’ is more loyal than ‘y’ and so on, because there is no possibility of gauging that.

  45. the other thing from the Austrian training camp is :

    1) TV is conspicuously absent. As I mentioned, he is likely to leave and we are likely to need a new Cback that can rotate through Meterscielny.

    2) Campbell. Looks like he will feature. Why would we not use him off the back of a good season with Olympiakos and a good world cup with a team that punched above their weight?

    He is quick, has a great first touch, distributes the ball well and holds the ball up well for a 5’10 frame (similar to rooney). Could be an interesting prospect playing alongside Sanchez or Walcott (or both) and certainly gives us a different approach to Giroud or Sanogo.

    Again, had we bought him this summer, that would be more enthusiasm on him, since it was Dick Law pottering through the Central American jungle 3 seasons past, many tend to ignore or discount him or even want him moved on. Simply odd.

    3) Wenger has really gone for over kill to ensure RB stays (rightly) a strong point in the squad with both Debuchy and Chambers (not to mention Bellerin). Jenkinson is likely in the shop window right now and gone. he does not lack commitment but is too one dimensional a player for us. I never understood the hoopla over his crossing. he whips them in blind. pre-season, I thought bellerin was the more impressive albeit lacking in obvious first team experience. Either way, we have a genuine fight in this position for succession post Debuchy. It seems a similar trend to the competition introduced for goalkeeper with Szsc/Fabianski and now Ospina.

    And we may not be finished with the possibility of a Khedira opportunity buy. i don’t think we will move for anyone in DM other than Khedira. Arteta and Flamini (and Diaby) are decent enough to hold this summer. but a Khedira buy will be hugely transformative for us and prices may come down closer to end of window in this case. We will have to cast an eye on United who will spend but are out of CL of course. However it seems Chelsea won’t be dipping in and Munich will wait till next summer so we have a good opportunity if we can haggle down his salary.

  46. What a weird morning. My colleague at work intimating how she loves the smell of her newborn’s plops and now Bill’s revelation about his admiration of horse poop.
    What’s next? Dexter announcing his love of Spurs?

  47. Els.

    I need to leave but I am obviously very happy with our team defense and am glad the boss finally started listening to me about deeeefense. 😉

    The last season and a half has been a complete defensive turnaround and I hope we can maintain that solidarity. I never would have believed that an Arsene Wenger team would be anywhere near the top of the table in clean sheets. If we do that again and somehow figure out a way to at least get a couple more draws against the top of the table teams, then we have a reasonable chance to win some more silverware this season.

  48. If what we read is to be believed Khedira’s wage demands are rather high. Personally I’d rather we go for Pogba or Vidal. Rumours of Vidal’s sale won’t die down. If his wage demands are less than Khedira’s then we could afford to offer more in transfer fees. I’d even sell Santi and jettison Flamini’s wage to fund the purchase. That would make our team so much more balanced. Wenger used to be so much more ruthless. He sold Anelka and Overmars when ridiculous offers came in.

  49. @MLF

    Honestly Isco isn’t a realistic option to be fair mate especially since Madrid just bought him last year. A more realistic option would be Costa, Firmino to be honest and they would be able to not just play on the LW but also as ACM and give Ozil a rest while also being young enough to develop with our super talented young core.

  50. @Els

    If that is the case, then make the decision during the winter transfer season. I wanna say that he has 2 years though mate if I’m not mistaken.

  51. @Philmar

    Why not go for Javi Martinez if that is the case and Khederia is wanted by Bayern on a free?

  52. Interesting reports coming from Colombia and Sky just confirmed..

    We are close to signing Juan Fernando Quintero from Porto. That would be the replacement for Santi.

  53. Excuse me Mr els but after 5 pints of Stella artois i know more about football then wenger.. Thanks.

  54. Busy day on here. Here too, Never too soon to prepare for winter so i have been chopping logs and getting them store. Sweaty work. That and picking peas for the freezer.

    I must tell you that jonny is a good looking man. Just a bit ‘slight’ in his build. Still, he is good company and I’m sure he does well with the ladies.

  55. Quintero would be a massive get as he is capable of playing on the wing and was the winger for Columbia that was built and played like Santi.

  56. Been out and about for a few days so I’m just starting to catch up. On the comments about Joel Campbell and his performances at Olympiakos and Real Betis.
    Sky’s Sunday coverage usually moves on to La Liga after the 4pm Premiership match and has back to back live games, so I can watch 4 live matches on a Sunday if I have the will to (and I have done exactly that from time to time). When Joel was with Real Betis he got plenty of coverage because they were often on Sky of a Sunday evening. Joel was largely played as a winger at Betis and its therefore not that surprising that he wasn’t a prolific goal scorer in his time there, but he did have 33 appearances in that season which would suggest that the coach had faith in him. In the games I saw him play on a Sunday night he was usually one of the stand out players of the team, working hard for the team going forward and always willing to help out his FB. Perhaps he should have scored more than his two goals even from a wing position, but I thought he generally looked the part. That Real Betis side qualified for the Europa League and it is interesting to note that last season, without Campbell, they were relegated. I’m sure that Campbell wasn’t the difference between 7th in the league and relegation, but he certainly had some influence on the team. Will he be able to make an impact in the Premiership at Arsenal? I don’t know, but given his efforts at Betis I’d like to see him try. I might not have been rushing out to buy him after the World Cup, but there is no need to as he is already our player.

  57. The Quintero thing is weird,

    His agent says the deal is done for £15.8m.

    His agent says there is no deal and no fee has been agreed.


    Well one alleged agent – Maria claims it is done.

    The other agent – Ricardo – claims there is no such deal.

    Methinks it is a hoax.

  58. @Wavey 9.03pm
    Thanks for that mate. Good to hear from someone who’s watched him play regularly. Me – I’ve seen the youtube video of course (which is impressive but aren’t they all?) and a few bits and pieces at the world cup. So my comments are based on the little I’ve seen live, plus the fact he had his work permit sorted for us last season but Arsene chose to send him off on loan for a third time. If AW thinks he’s good enough, he’ll stay and we don’t need another striker.
    If the Quintero rumours this evening have any substance (and they’ve certainly come suddenly out of left field), that must surely mean that Santi is off. That would sadden me a bit, but he’s 30 in December and Quintero turned 21 in January. If this is Wenger’s last contract, it doesn’t look like he’s intending to leave his successor with a whole new team to build, as I seem to remember someone doing recently.

  59. Jenks out on loan for the season, great news for him and the club. He needs to get a run of games, but he belongs at Arsenal in the long term. Chambers and Jenks battling it out at RB in the future with Chambers offering the versatility of being to play in other roles as well. Debuchy is the experience we need now with the two England youngsters being the future.

  60. @Henry

    They are extrmely weird to be honest. The player would actually be a like for like with Santi but quicker and with more pace on the wing as he’s showed for Porto and Columbia.

    Its strange because reports on Columbia say done deal but then other places say no…..guess we will see honestly with Quintero supposed to be in London no later than Monday.

  61. Wondering if Wenger put Campbell out on loan last season to see how he played in the CF role given his winger role at Betis. His numbers weren’t great at Olympiakos which might explain Wenger’s caution.

  62. I’m glad Jenks is only going on loan so he can come back after the Hammers get relegated.

  63. Good Luck Jenks.
    Think it’s a great move for club and player; albeit, I’ve had a few glasses of plonk, so I hope me stating that I think The Arsenal have made the right move here dosen’t come across as me thinking I know anything about football- a dangerous game in some quarters for mere supporters 😉


    Your analysis of Jonny’s physical aesthetic value is genuinely funny : )

  64. I think HenryB’s hunch about the Quintero rumours is right. Just read that they originated with

  65. This Quintero thing is a bit left field….

    Personally think it would mean the end of Podolski and not Santi. No one else?

    A LW with pace? I know what gap that fills for me. It’s a German one not a Spanish one! Think Santi’s position flex, particularly Ozil cover, means he’s safe this time

  66. So if Quintero did arrive would that be Poldi or Cazorla out do we think? Most seem to be saying Santi but I would have thought Poldi would be marginally the more likely.

    Have to say, if it does happen, it would be right out of left field. Looks like an exciting prospect – killer free kicks and added pace.

    Still find it all a tad discombobulating….guess we’ll see when we see.

  67. well nobody saw the chambers deal coming..
    that didnt drag out that came out of the blue and next day we’d sign him..

    i like quintero hes a very good we need him? possibly not but if theres another position id like to see strengthened behind midfield its the lefty attacker and hes one of those players if we dont buy him now madrid or barca will for 70mil next year..

  68. Ah all looks like bollocks – €40M release clause – that all escalated quickly from nothing.

    Who’d be a football fan eh?

  69. Johnny

    Uncanny. Almost word for word, just the order is rearranged. We’ll have to work on that synergy of thought

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