Za-Za-Zoom, Ozil & Transfer News

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Before the first kick was taken, the pundits sofa was united in their two pieces of advice for the penalty takers: make your mind up early and don’t change it, and, remember what you’d practiced. You’d have thought that a livewire coach like Antonio Conte would have slapped Simone Zaza senseless if he’d tried that spot kick in training. At the very least told him to stop mucking about.

He wasn’t the only one to miss but certainly the funniest. Or most desperate, if you’re Italian.

Mesut Özil gave Gianluigi Buffon the ‘eyes’ and sent his penalty against the post. It was his second successive miss from the spot. You have to admire the willingness to stand up and be counted but question whether his manager made the right choice. Well, obviously he didn’t as the miss showed.

To that point, it had been a good evening for Özil, with his goal giving Germany the lead. It was a match which swung to and fro between the sides. A ‘tactical battle’ they called it which generally means they are as dull as dishwater. This one though was fascinating. And as dull as dishwater at the same time.

That was until the lunacy of Jerome Boateng intervened. It was the bizarrest decision by a defender I’ve seen in quite some time, perhaps since Lee Dixon decided to chip David Seaman from 30 yards. The closest I can think to describe it is that he was auditioning for a new Dracula movie with his arms in that position. Redemption came when he comfortably converted his spot kick.

Germany are through but looked far from imperious. However, looking at the remaining nations, it’s hard to see anyone stopping them.

Tonight’s match sees France take on Iceland and everyone wants the underdogs to win. They won’t though; you know the fairytale is set to end with a crushing defeat as the rest of the world realises just how bad England really were.

Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny – there’s an interesting profile of him here – will both feature, with the striker continuing to baffle as to how he switches his form on and off so readily. He’s also a lesson in which football conversations move: criticise or want him as a Plan B, suggest he might benefit from some competition and accusations of treachery follow – you want him out of the club.

The definitive stances adopted by his defenders are counter-productive to Giroud’s cause. If it came to that black and white choice, the likelihood is that most would opt to sign a more consistent striker. Twenty goals a season is a decent total but when the majority come pre-Christmas, there’s a detrimental effect quickly felt.

It’s that missing element which keeps Giroud bracketed as a good striker but not moving to the ‘world class’ level. That said, hyperbole has rendered that term almost meaningless.

On the Arsenal front, things are very quiet. And quiet isn’t good for Arsenal, especially with teams expected to challenge for the title spending money like there’s no tomorrow. United have added two to their squad this weekend, City are looking to complete deals this week whilst Batshuayi is expected to join Chelsea tomorrow.

Arsenal, Xhaka already signed, were led a merry dance, making an uncomfortable contrast to the ‘decisive’ action of rivals. Transfers aren’t conducted in private, they are on the back pages and Arsenal’s absence for those column inches makes a febrile breeding ground for discontent.

For me, signing players who will improve the squad is really the only criteria we ought to worry about. It’s a big concern with Arsenal’s recent patchy transfer record; there’s genuine history with going into seasons with under-strength squads and it hasn’t ended well in the Premier League, we can all agree.

However, there are benefits in signing before pre-season training; it eases settling the squad and means Arsène isn’t distracted either. That may prove as beneficial as anything else, easing the pressure on himself rather than setting himself up for martyrdom.

The media believe the Arsenal board are ready to offer Arsène a new deal to fend off the FA’s interest in appointing Wenger as Roy Hodgson’s successor. This presumably isn’t the same offer which has sat on Arsène’s desk for some time, waiting for him to sign or an opportune moment to screw the board for a few dollars more. No-one wants to be paid in sterling the way the currency markets are going.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette is the latest striker Arsenal have failed to land with Lyon confident that the player will stay because the “coach relies on him”. As if player loyalty is something to consider in a move; it’s bought and sold like any other commodity. Expect Lacazette to sign a new deal in the next few weeks.

’til Tomorrow.

71 thoughts on “Za-Za-Zoom, Ozil & Transfer News

  1. Zsa Zsa Zoom, yourself, Yogi. 🙂

    I have argued for a while that it was easy to lay all the blame on AW for lack of transfers, and that it takes two to tango, and far too many players do not see us as a Manure, a Barca or a Bayern and decline to join us.
    More’s the pity. [Our lack of trophy success, which lies at AW’s feet, would have something to do with it, of course.]

  2. Good morning, forget the transfer speculation and watch the Tour de France. That’s where you’ll see dedication, fitness, bravery and a disregard for injuries which would see professional footballers running home to mummy.

  3. Of course you can’t blame it all on Arsene, I heard that he will not conclude any deal without consulting Mavis the tea lady and her psychic tea leaves!

    Thing is, as YW says transfers are conducted in full public view these days. Failing to agree a deal you can argue isn’t all Arsene, but failing to have any deals in the offing suggests that no targets have been identified, or that he’s being indecisive. There have been too many ex-employees state that he has trouble making a decision on players for it to be a myth.

    I think that’s a big part of the problem. When it’s a raw youngster for a few million there’s no pressure and he can go for those deals. When it’s not a superstar but the figure is in tens of millions it’s a gamble and Arsene gets twitchy.

  4. Morning YW and Henry. I just hope as I no longer pray that We do NOT go into the season not having done the necessary.

    I can’t state why but have the feeling we are going to be left in the starting blocks.

    Wait with trepidation..have a good Sunday afternoon.

  5. YW has a point there Orson. And for me it’s as boring as hell (maybe not as boring as Poland – Portugal I grant you). But each to their own.

    At least the BoD will be having a good morning having finally found an excuse to give Arsene that new contract without him having to do anything further to earn one,

  6. Morning all,

    We can only look at history to give us a feel for what goes on behind closed doors when it comes to transfer discussions. You would hope that the introduction of new blood into the scouting team would indicate that we are looking to be a bit more aggressive in our approach then previously, but we have seen early signings followed up by very little additional acquisitions in the past. I can only assume that we aren’t up to much at the moment and I can’t be bothered getting excited about names that get loosely connected to us. The likes of Lukaku and Lacazette are likely to be off to pastures new this summer, but I don’t think we will see them in Arsenal’s colours.

  7. I think it’s telling Wavey that the only piece of potential transfer news that anyone is taking seriously is the one about Asano, because it’s so very Arsene and Arsenal.

  8. That’s right Andy. But at least it’s a great bit of business for the club. Will never actually see him play for Arsenal, other than maybe in the League Cup in a couple of years, but we’ll make shed loads out of shirt sales in Japan. Nothing quite like getting the priorities right.

  9. With Juve and Milan, among others, have better equipped pharmacies than many NHS hospitals, no. But not yet as corrupted by the drug culture as cycling.

  10. I think to preserve one’s mental health, avoiding newsnow and the like during the summer off season is a must…

    All these “done deals” and transfer “snubs” are enough to send all Gooners batty. The tabloids need to fill their dodgy organs with copy, any copy and transfers are made up for a number of reasons. The most common it seems is agents letting it be known there is interest in their client to get a new improved contract with the Mr 10%ers commission completely coincidental by product.

    We need a new striker and a centre back, who should we go for? Gawd knows. I’d never even heard of Koulibaly of Napoli until a few weeks ago, but now I am absolutely spitting blood because I am soooooooo angry we have “missed out” on signing the player.

    As for Vardy, I am kinda glad we didn’t get him, but that will only remain the case if we sign Lacazette, no, I mean Lukaku, erm Aubermeyang, yes, definitely the last one… 🙂

  11. If we stick with Giroud (and we could do worse), then fair enough. It’s like the song says: “if you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with”

  12. Lol, I must be psychic! 🙂

    Quite honestly YW who cares?

    Arsenal.com report that “A number of clubs were after Takuma’s signature”. I’d like to know who but suspect that competition for his signature was hardly ‘fierce’.

  13. It sure is Ras. It’s on Arsenal.com this morning although the BBC so far haven’t found it worth reporting….

  14. Could be another Ji Sung Park?.

    As stated earlier I don’t have a good feeing for the forthcoming season.

    A 21 year J League striker.Never heard of him and this some real Left Field punt.

  15. Andy – not seen him linked with any other clubs but I’m sure newspapers will find them.

    Ras – I don’t have an issue with signing squad players but with other clubs acting to strengthen starting XI, the timings a PR disaster. He’s going to be loaned most likely as he doesn’t appear on first glance, to meet work permit regulations. Not a ‘nothing’ signing but unimportant at the moment.

  16. Well any hope of eeking out even the merest hint of a positive spin from this transfer has already been kyboshed and banjaxed…

    Way to go Waldorf and Statler! 🙂

  17. Asano huh,

    From where? Hiroshima… Perhaps he’s been secretly dipping himself in radiation. It would explain his Godzilla like celebrations.

    Watch your back messi, watch your back.

  18. Not keen on spin myself, just reality, but go ahead, knock yourself out if you like. Tough league the J-League….. 😉

  19. Nice one Colts – maybe his song could be the Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”? Bad taste? Probably. I apologise in advance.

  20. Andy

    Thanx, anything to lighten the mood i guess. He definitely has that as his theme tune for life in general.

    Van p isn’t good enough for fenerbach right now isn’t he?

  21. Merci YW your right in that he’s possibly no more than a squad player etc.

    I can explain why I harbour these irrational negative doubts about us being to compete in the ‘Market’ and bring in the required players (1st team) for the new season.

    You see Chelsea and Man U out there doing what is necessary.

    Déjà Vous I guess……….

  22. hahahahahaha….i swear, arsene wenger and arsenal officials are insanely mad….we need a world class striker, step forward japanese ASANO……damn, moronic moron, foolish fools….am really angry at the moment

  23. i cant really blame the club though, i only blame the scammed fans who keep on using their hard earned money to go to the emirates to watch the team….damn when will the fans think with their brain and act with their feet?

  24. Not sure now is the time for panic unless you’ve seen the state of Alexis’ ankle. Ouch.

    Manure, chavs, man sheikhy, cesspool and the shadow dwellers have and will always outspend us. Leicester at our expense showed it’s an important part of the whole but still, Just a part.

    Priority wise, back up striker or better to cover dia.. I mean Danny. Now that the chavs have brought batshit and manure the ego that’s two out of the race with better options still available.

    The rest for me are upgrade if possible or buy for the future.

  25. For my money, why Pelle’s penalty was bad, I think Zaza’s was worst but they were really 1.a and 1.b. which is never good. Penalties and crossing in this tournament have been really poor overall.

    Ozil played well and has played well outside of his penalty taking and his goal was well taken. My how the narrative would have changed for Ozil if Boateng doesn’t make that challenge.

    Strikers and players moving, tend to agree with Henry and Wavey, players don’t see us as Manure, Chelsea and others which is a shame. Hell, all we heard was Mhikitaryn wanted to leave Dortmund for Arsenal at the start of the summer and we were in discussions and then Dortmund says he isn’t moving and now he he will be wearing the red of Manure bext season. Say what you want but 27m for Mhikitaryn is beyond good value for money, its fucking brilliant. Something has to give, why don’t strikers and various players want to play for Arsenal. Lack of ambition with Arsenal valuing consistency over anything else.

  26. @Colts

    If we buy a striker, must be as good or better because Giroud is 30 and his inconsistencies are going to change at this point.

  27. Interesting signing of Kyrychowiak by PSG who will probably take over for the ageless wonder Thiago Motta.

  28. Arteta has officially signed for Citeh and Pep’s revolution. He will be apart of Pep’s coaching staff. How did Arsenal let that one happen?!?!?

  29. C, Arteta may have ideas about coaching that do not coincide with those of our manager. Can’t have fresh thinking on the training ground.

  30. @Orson

    Probably does, shame because we are definitely in need of them. Funny though they would let Adams help manage the youth.

  31. Said it before and will say it again:
    Giroud is a great striker who needs some rest, recovery and some goal scoring help. OX, Theo and Rambo have not helped score goals in any way to ease the burden of scoring on Giroud. (Sanchez was ran into the ground and became injured for over 1/4 of the season which did not help)
    Look what happened to costa when hazard’s scoring plummeted. Leicester had Vardy and Mahrez to score. All the other top teams in the worlds have 2-3 capable stirkers:
    chavs, manure (where do they get the endless supply of young, strong and fast talent) $h*tty, PSG, Barca, Athletico, Juve, Dortmund and Bayern…Yes Arsenal are a top team!
    Just sign someone who can contribute right now Arsenal!

  32. Wow Yogi what’s occurring here? Allowing complete fucking from leading Grove to infect your blog???

    Maybe PG ain’t such bad company after all!

  33. So Giroud’s 15 match barren spell was down to the other players in the team. Nothing to do with him disappearing in games and actually appearing at times as if he was completely uninterested. Giroud has a role in the squad, but he isn’t first choice striker material for a team like Arsenal. He’s a great number two, or an impact striker but you can’t rely on him to lead the line week in week out.

  34. Yeah YW, what’s with all the free speech nonsense, bring back the thought police BOOOO !!!!!!!!!

    Or here’s an idea, feel free to have an opinion and let others have theirs even if you don’t agree with them. Radical eh?

  35. @Alf

    I think the thing is, literally nobody has seen him play and while he may or may not be talented, whats clear is that he is a young international and we have them. Being loaned out probably immediately just means we signed him and he is an Arsenal player but reinforcements are not only needed at this point but necessary as last season and really the last 4 have shown.

    Its hard to justify the signing when he isn’t a youth product and he isn’t helping the first team set-up. If he shows something great but at present he doesn’t make us any better or worse but he does help potentially in the Japanese market.

  36. Dexter

    I’ve seen your program, wasn’t a fan.

    C

    I’m inclined to agree with Aaron, Perhaps his barren run was down to him not being very good at being consistent enough. I don’t know but he’s had so shoulder a lot of the goal scoring over the years with little help. He appears to show he can’t cope with it mentally, more so in the cl, but he’s quality and has scored important goals.
    I think the striker we buy should be young enough to improve and fight it out with Danny, as our chance creation is still one of the best. Ideally with a different skill set that will play into the hands of the wizard.
    Also the attacking right was a dud for most of the season which may have added to his drought given the left was in poor form more often than not or injured with no decent back up.
    Personally I’d stick Campbell on the right as he has it all barring being prolific, but who’s to say he can’t improve, He’s what? 23. He got important goals too and surprised many with his eye for a pass, not to mention execution.

  37. Great strikers have a great supporting cast-just ask Messi how he feels about Iniesta etc….
    Henry about Berkamp, etc.
    Van Nils about everyone etc…
    No center forward can do it alone- with as many competitions that the players are playing today, especially Arsenal.
    Take a look at some real data about distances covered by modern players and the intensity of their runs…People say Mesut is lazy but data shows the guy runs himself into the ground during each and every game.
    1 goal every 2 games is a very good ration without a supporting cast.

  38. There’s a striker who will guarantee you 15-20 goals, knows the pl, is young with room to improve that won’t be going to manure, Chelsea or man city.

    I’d still pay 60m.

  39. Looks like it’s night, night Iceland.

    Didn’t Ozil just break a Premiership record for creating goal scoring opportunities? Not sure what else you can do when your job is to create chances and the bloke in the middle doesn’t bury them, or even get on the end of them a lot of the time. I agree that the supporting cast didn’t exactly weigh in with the goals either, but we need a player getting 20 plus in the league if we are seriously going to battle for the title. The supporting cast in terms of goal scorers at many top teams do pitch in, but you still have to have a star who is banging them in.

  40. Iceland being destroyed rather easily. 4 nil, not sure there’s any point watching second half.

  41. @colts

    The issue I have is that even when he was getting help, think the previous 4 seasons, he was still terribly inconsistent. 2 of his 4 seasons if I’m not mistaken he wasn’t our lesding goal scorer in the PL (Theo and Sanchez had those honors and Ramsey was within a couple of goals) so it wasn’t that he wasn’t getting help, he is what he is and there is nothing wtong with that as our Plan B. You have to remember, outside of the year he helped Montpellier win Ligue Un, he wasn’t ever a very good to great striker or clinicql striker.
    I agree, the striker we should be should be young, but not just fighting it out with Welbeck(who is out the whole season I would imagine) but who can challenge Giroud. Lacazette, Icardi, Chicharito, Bakambu are just a couple that would instantly improve us. You also have to remember that as Wavey said, Ozil broke the chances created record by a wide margin and some of Giroud’s misses were shocking. Its not about thr chances being created, its about the lack of finishing.
    Yes the rw was horrid qnd I would have stuck with Campbell too (hell every week after he started after Christmas I said start him) because he can play futbol and has scored goals and I think will develop.
    I am not saying sell Giroud, but I am saying he simply isn’t good enough and consistent enough to be our main striker going forward. He has had 4 or 5 seasons to prove it and every year he has gone barren for long stretches of the season.
    Yes he plays really well for country but we have seen that before, hell Welbeck’s form for England makes you think he is much more clinucql for club and its simply not the case.

  42. Giroud worked well for his two goals tonight and proved that he is a real threat in the air from set pieces. Not sure we really exploit that enough at Arsenal largely because we don’t have enough height in the rest of the team, so it’s fairly easy for the opposing teams to shut Giroud down.

    The French showed exactly why zonal marking on corners doesn’t work when the they scored the second goal. The static defenders covering their zones were easily caught out by the runs of the French players.

  43. 3 goals 2 assists for OG. That’s 20 in 53 for Le Blues.
    Link up play was fantastic and worked his socks off.
    Got to give him credit when due…

  44. So, another Arsenal player who seems to be a lot better for their country than for their club. Suggests that we are not playing in a way that gets the best out of them.

  45. @wavey

    The thing for me is you have to have some perspective. Ramsey plays well for Waled because Coleman built a team and system around Bale and Ramsey, who have absolute freedom and seemingly no responsibility, are we going to buils a team around Ramsey when he isn’t our best 3 players in the squad? Giroud playing well for France, yes but he has been at Arsenal for 4 or 5 seasons, he is a striker that runs hot and cold plain and simple for me. Nobody says anything when he is banging them in when he is hot, yet he goes cold, always has throughout his whole career sans one, always will.

    The system we play needs to be built around Ozil, Sanchez, Kos, Bellerin and Xhaka; everybody else fills in around them.

  46. So Sanchez, Giroud and Ramsey get praise yet most brush aside Ozil because he missed a penalty. Ozil and Kroos have been the standouts for the Germans as most of the German midfield and attack have struggled. Sans the penalties, Ozil has been really good.

    Wonder what the narrative would be if Ozil is the key piece to the Germans winning the Euros?

  47. I’d add that now we have granit, who has been compared to Mikel we could yet see the old Rambo return. Wouldn’t be surprised if he started the first run of games unless we begin with coqzorla.

  48. Don’t want to sound like a negative nancy but if we are judging players based on their Euro performance than Lewandowski and Muller are shit, Giroud and Griezman are two of the best in Europe and Pogba is overrated. Ramsey is one of the best ACM’s, Ibra is done as a player.

  49. Giroud

    10 goals in 8 games for France!

    SO much for the numpties going on about barren spells. ALL strikers great or otherwise have barren spells.

    Giroud = WORLD CLASS.

    What did Lewandoski do this tournament?

    There is a reason why Deschamp plays him ahead of Lacazette.

    The casual observer and average pundit will continue to whinge about GIroud but he is effective both scoring and more importantly in equal measure acting as a pivot/node to bring in the second line strikers (In France’s case Greizzman and Payet)

    This system is also employed by Italy with Pelle bringing in Eder and Giacherrini

    To some extent it is also employed by Germany with Gomez bringing in the wide men.

    Much of it is to do with the security of 4-2-3-1 and the sort of deep lying defenses the more talented teams will face.

    If you say we need someone to help with the goal scoring burden in concert with GIroud I can understand.

    But considering in his best season with us Walcott scored 21 goals and GIroud scored 24 last season, the rubbish spewed by the naysayers just doesn’t hold water.;)

  50. Ramsey is playing well because he is playing higher up in the slot free of more mundane task covering the defense that Joe Allen and the other chap undertake for Wales.

    Ramsey will do well for us if he plays in Ozil’s spot.

    Its a good selection issue to have not a negative.

    Players also improve. Nothing is static. The more games they have, they tend to get better.

  51. Any positive performance is good for our players. They can carry the confidence into the new season. Better than poor performances.

    So that is being a bit of a negative nancy.;)

  52. 3.7 seasons to be exact. He needed 1 season to bed in. His ratio of goals has been improving year out. If Arsenal had 10 more goals this last season they would have been tops.
    Arsenal needs diverse scoring with Giroud at the top with some rest in the non games, like crap cup, and lower teams in FA Cup, and maybe even every other game in CL early games at home because of the away goals rule.
    If he gets support and rest, he will score what is needed and Arsenal will be at the top of the PL league this next year. You heard it here first!

  53. Jesus Christ. Santori, I know there are morons who put Giroud down all the time. But you’ve gone way too far the other way.

    Giroud always seemed a good bet for the golden boot in this tournament because he looked in form coming in, France are a very strong team that will give him great service and it’s just a seven games to win it: A mere snapshot compared to a full season in which Giroud has good runs and bad ones. He always has done, and given that he’s pushing 30 always will do.

    Going to go for caps with this: GIROUD IS GOOD BUT YOU CAN’T RELY ON HIM AS YOUR ONLY SOURCE OF GOALS BECAUSE HE DRIES UP FOR MONTHS ON END. It’s not much use to a title challenge if you score 10 in t0 games and then zero for the next two month. We need someone better to get Giroud to fight for his spot, or to sign someone that can share the load with him.

    I’m all for getting behind out players and wanting them to do well, but comparing him to Lewandowski on the basis of a tournament isn’t even funny.

  54. We’ll see what happens with Ramsey next season. Coleman’s playing him in that advanced spot partly because he makes better runs and has more vision than anyone else in the team. He also makes good decisions in the box.

    It’s the reason we use him on the wing. But I’m fed up with him deeper at CM because he’s not very discriminating about when he chooses to get forwards, but also because his touch and pass are a too inconsistent.

    A few people were saying this last year: He’d make a good number 10 in a team like Everton or Everton. He needs two midfielders covering behind him; not just one.

    One theory going around was that the bleached hair was peacocking, trying to get noticed for a transfer. If there’s any truth to that and a club is silly enough to make bids on the basis of a tournament performance I’d see what they’ve got to say.

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