Bored Waiting For That Board Meeting

So D-Day has arrived. Wexit or Wexin? It was a busy day for Arsène, meeting first with Ivan and then Enos for discussions about how they would back down while he signed a new deal.

Despite admitting the uncertainty over his future significantly contributed to the “hostile environment”, my suspicion is that Arsène banked on winning the cup to re-assert his authority over the club. Ornstein of the BBC from Salford, claimed that even Dick Law was going to stay this summer.

Yes, Ivan, Arsène genuinely is a catalyst for change; a change of CEO, that is.

The general view is that leaving now would drop the club in the cart; there are no suitable candidates is the message which shows either how low Thomas Tuchel’s stock has fallen or how little attention people paid to his Dortmund departure.

But with Enos determined to keep Arsène, there’s no sense of any impending change. Kroenke’s biggest task is to soothe the two egos at loggerheads; it’s got a certain Highlander feel about it with the loser leaving unless a watered-down version of the vaunted restructuring can be found.

It’s hard to know Kroenke’s thoughts; he didn’t let the mask slip at Wembley, even though it certainly looked as if his face had.

Post-Chelsea, understandably, Arsène used the silverware to his advantage; why not, anyone who wouldn’t is a fool. Dangerous words though. “The best presentation? Watch the game and there can be no doubt”, he said.

To which the obvious answer is, “Shall we follow that with both Bayern games, Watford at home, finishing off with Chelsea and Liverpool away?”. The soundbite, while effective, is not so clear-cut as the Frenchman might want it to seem.

Itinerant Child

A forlorn rallying cry issued yesterday fell flatter on its’ face than Teresa May on television last night. You know it went badly when The Heil puts a zookeeper’s death as the lead story.

Anyway, some suggested that knowing Wenger will walk away in two years time ought to make everyone get behind the team and put the past behind them. It’s a startling lack of understanding regarding the situation.

The biggest is the presumption that Arsène will walk away. Managing Arsenal, he freely admits, is his life; there are no outside hobbies or interests to distract him. This is a man who will be involved in football for the rest of his life in some capacity.

Certainly, it’s hard to see him quitting coaching in the next decade. After that, it’s a boardroom, pronouncing judgement in exactly the same way he rails against anyone doing on his career.

And opinions on Arsenal’s league performance in the past half-a-decade are too hardened. There’s absolutely no evidence that he is capable of fashioning a title challenge. Just when you think he might be on course to do so, his squads fall apart, returning with a late season charge. This year, it came completely unstuck.

If he’s going to remain at the helm, then the board must unequivocally support him. Wenger’s evasiveness over his future was a significant factor in the car-crash of a Premier League season we’ve endured but the board’s failure to make any significant contribution was abysmal.

Paralysed by fear of change and Kroenke’s unwavering support of Wenger, their inability to assert control over the business underlined their overall unsuitability for the role. Major changes are required to inject dynamism into the club.

He Went That-a-way!

One thing is certain; Wenger will add more than 1 or 2 to the squad. Make do and mend isn’t a philosophy which wins titles.

Some are certain to leave while Jack Wilshere fuelled transfer talk by removing all reference to Arsenal on his social media sites:

His performances at Bournemouth weren’t as impressive as many expected them to be, leading to the spurious notion of “if he can’t cut it there, how can he cut it at Arsenal” surfacing.

I suspect a deal has been done already. Anything above £15m for Wilshere seems ludicrously low for a player of his talent but recent years lead me to think that anything above that represents bloody good business by the club.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Wenger’s future will be known soon, so we wait for the official announcement and the summer to begin.

’til Tomorrow.

91 thoughts on “Bored Waiting For That Board Meeting

  1. No-one available eh? Those cheeky little scamps must have missed Allegri’s fishing for a new job earlier this season. In case they are unaware he’s the guy that suffocated Barca twice and made it to the CL final. Oh, and he’s quite good at winning league titles too (as well as their cup competition).

  2. On and On and On he goes, where it ends only Arsene knows

    Let the battle for 4th place begin!

  3. You posted about Jack and that was my last post on yesterday’s write up!

    I have already grown tired of the Arsene will he or wont he

  4. @yogi

    You forgot about Giroud wanting assuarance of more match time or he will consider offers from Lyon and Marseille. Personally I would use him as a make-weight for Lacazette who has a verbal agreement with Athletico but they are on transfer ban and are waiting to see if it will be overturned but why not give it a try.

  5. Afternoon,

    Lots of little snippets leaking out with the aim of sugaring the pill. I’m still convinced Wenger is after SAF’s record and there’s some way to go yet. The only real threat to his tenure at Arsenal is a significant and prolonged impact on revenue. I suspect the amount of revenue generated will be assessed over the next season with a return to CL football being the main goal, either by table position or by winning the Europa League. If revenue is significantly down and we don’t see a return CL in 2018/19 the owner is bound to reconsider the manager’s position. Kroenke is very loyal to Wenger, but I suspect that will only last as long as the bottom line is developing. Wenger has produced the goods as regards revenue flow in the past which probably gives him a crack at getting us back on to the top table in Stan’s eyes.

  6. News flash on BBC that Wenger has verbally agreed a 2 year deal with Stan which will be rubber stamped at the Board meeting.

  7. Yay, no more Jack. I mean that in a good way 😉 , I’d have him back as a luxury. But if he’s gonna free up space for something more efficient, great.
    Yay, no more bfg (big falling giant). Tricky one this, if I knew he would be nothin more than a super effective sub then I’d have no problem with him staying. Either way we’re at least four years past the point of getting a proper striker and that is gonna be even harder now after our epic top four fail. Our options are low hanging fruit or punts, and that’s based on Alexis staying, sigh.
    We could possibly have another summer like the one where we got Oliver and Lucas. But instead it’ll be lacazette, icardi, morata etc…if we’re lucky.
    If Wenger stays it’ll be onyekuru…😉

  8. Thought I’d repost what someone put up on Facebook as I think it says it all:

    “LE GROVE
    EXELLENT PIECE.

    So here we are, the elusive board meeting. Wenger rolls into battle with… errr… basically no one.

    Well, that’s how I’d imagine it’ll happen. He is king, he has the leverage now. He will reign victorious, of that, there is no doubt.

    Does he deserve a new deal? My word NO.

    3 FA Cups in 4 years is wonderful, but the objectives of the club have shifted. Don’t kid yourself the FA Cup is elite. That’s Jose Mourinho like PR.

    WE moved stadium to kick into the upper echelons of world football.

    WE wanted to see progress in the major competitions.

    WE wanted to see Arsenal actually challenge for the league.

    WE didn’t move to be a very good cup team.

    In the last three years, since Wenger last signed into a deal he didn’t deserve, we’ve seen:

    Leicester pip us to the league by 10 points

    We’ve seen Chelsea win under Mourinho, fall to 10th, then come back and win it under a new manager in Antonio Conte (beating us by 18 points)

    We’ve seen Spurs challenge twice, on half the wage budget we’ve had

    We’ve seen Liverpool hit top 4 in their first full season under a good manager.

    Arsenal dropped out of the Champions League last 16 3 times in a row. We’d done exactly the same thing 4 times before that. The last three seasons have seen us concede 18 goals in the 6 last 16 games (for regression context, in the previous 4 games we went out at the same stage, we only conceded 14 goals < ONLY)

    Our average points total over the last three years of Wenger is 73.6 points. The previous 3 years before that was 74. The previous 3 years before that was 71.5. You have to go back a full 18 years to find the last time a team won the league with sub 80 points (United 99). We haven’t broken 80 points for ten years (CFC just won the league with 93)

    We’re now out of the top 4. We only made the top 5 because Mourinho made a strategic decision to blow the final 6 games of the season to avoid the ignominy of Europa League football.

    As of December (because I’m lazy and can’t be arsed to add up the latest) Arsenal’s league results at Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Everton and Soton over last five years were: P 33, W 5, D 11, L 17

    Our away form against teams in the top 10 saw us play 9, lose 6, draw 2 and win 1. The only team we beat was Southampton when the season was over. Odd that the beastly atmosphere the fans created for the home games seemed to impact away games harder.

    In short: Arsene Wenger has overseen a very average disaster over the last 3 years, if the title was the aim (which he’s on record as saying it was). I’m not even sure why it’s seen as palatable. We’re not progressing in the league. We’re not progressing the CL. Those are the facts.

    What the board need to be asking themselves is this… does one FA Cup game against Chelsea tell you anything about Wenger’s ability to drive the club forward? Is Wenger the right man to build a team to take us to European glory?

    If the answer is yes, why?

    Because the statistics do not look very good to me. Wenger can’t even hide behind wages and transfer budgets now, because he’s had plenty.

    Fact is, Arsene Wenger is bottom of the pile when it comes to elite managers. He is being outmuscled by younger men with smaller wage bills, worse players, and smaller transfer budgets.

    You can’t even argue he’s good for business. Commercials are stagnating because you can’t sell elite average to sponsors and our wage bill is up there with City’s and double that of Spurs.

    … and here’s the kicker for me. The fans relationship with the manager is broken. His carry on before the game was disgraceful. He put a shadow over the FA Cup build up by making it about himself. Even after the game, it was wild to me that he thought that was his platform to grandstand about how awful the paying supporter has been.

    He does that because he’s deluded. He believes he’s doing a good job. He thinks Arsenal is his toy and no one else is entitled to an opinion unless it’s a positive one he likes.

    Don’t fall for the ‘he’s class’ act. If he were class, he’d bow out graciously, recognising the time is up. He’s a megalomaniac. The only person he cares about is himself. The only thing that matters to him is the absolute power he’s afforded at the club. The reality is, despite the FA Cup win, he’s not serious about winning things. Because if he was, he’d have made the changes necessary to compete years ago.

    Same staff. Same approach. Same mistakes. Same outcome.

    Wenger is regression.

    The FA Cup was amazing. I blew a lot of money to be there. I’ll never forget it, and it’ll go down as one of the greatest experiences of my life.

    But it wasn’t progress. It was a flimsy silver plaster on another broken 3 years. Wenger should be told there’s no deal today.

    He won’t though. He’ll be rewarded by an owner who will make a snap judgement based on a party in the Wembley sun.

    That’s not elite sporting mentality. That’a why we’ll lose Sanchez. That’s why we’re going to have a tough time this summer attracting star names. That’s why next season will be no better than this one.

    It’s very sad to be buckling up for more of the same, even more depressing so many are slipping back into the same old routine of hope that has proven so fruitless again."

  9. I shall await with interest the official announcement. If it is true we can look forward to two more years of stagnation.

    I was briefly optimistic when I read forty minutes ago that Tuchel has left Borussia Dortmund and I hoped that he was heading for the Emirates.

  10. Orson Kaert,

    Maybe I am still on a high from the FA Cup, but what if he is still headed to Arsenal as an assistant for 2 years then to take over for Arsenal in that time. A truly smooth transition.

  11. @Wavey,
    That’s where it’s all wrong. Decisions by an owner being “rubber stamped by the Board tomorrow”. We need to get back to a democratic entity. 😉

  12. Great post yogi

    I think we should have sold jack Wilshere several years ago when there were rumors that man city would have paid $50M for him. Realistically there is almost no chance that he can stay healthy. Players who are injury prone like jack don’t just suddenly get better. There is no way we can build a squad with jack holding down a critical squad spot. The idea that Bournemouth managing his work load helped him to stay on the pitch was a false dawn. Even Diaby had a season or 2 where he was able to stay relatively healthy. I also think that jack’s performances at Bournemouth were an indication that we have been over rating his ability to have a consistent positive even when he is relatively healthy.

  13. nicky,

    I’m assuming that a new contract for the manager is only ordinary business at a Board meeting which therefore legally only requires a simple majority. If it were an extraordinary resolution the club would have to call a shareholder meeting at which Usmanov would also get a vote. As he is also a fan of Wenger the deal would still likely have gone through.

  14. C,

    Can you really believe that Wenger would swallow that, and what right minded, ambitious coach would take up a number two position under such a megalomaniac ?

  15. Orson Kaert,

    I don’t but then who thought outside a handful of us that we had a legitmate shot at beating Chelsea to win the FA Cup. Maybe I’m still high off of herbals or the Final but anything is possible just like plausible

  16. Which is why I sigh with a heavy heart. Wenger’s contract set to be renewed, not the best of news for me, very dreadful I imagine, hope Wenger finally proves us wrong.

  17. For those that just want the headlines:

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has agreed a new two-year contract, extending his 21-year reign at the club.

    Wenger and club owner Stan Kroenke met on Monday to determine the Frenchman’s future, with the decision relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

    Arsenal are planning to make an official announcement on Wednesday.

  18. C,

    Tuchel as a number two and a long term plan for a smooth transition when Wenger retires….I could go with that. It wont happen though. The mute version of Steve Bould will remain number two, doing whatever he does or doesnt do with the defence.

    I would love to be proved wrong, but I really cannot see any significant change happening.

    Only 5 years until Wenger beats Sir Alex’s record for length of time as a PL manager. Not that he has any chance of catching old Red Nose’s other records.

  19. Stu,

    Yea I think it would be the ideal but unfortunately I know that it won’t happen. It would make good sense to have a smooth transition plan but I’m not sure that there has really ever been a plan other than a two year extension and wait and see what happens next.

  20. Great win on sat 1st of all guys i am still buzzing, really makes the summer much more palatable.

    I for one am waiting for the official announcement because I honestly think there will be some changes even if Wenger stays.

  21. It seems that things have panned out pretty much just as many of us expected. Wenger was always going to sign on again despite the appearance of him being undecided, Kroenke was always going to give him a new contract, the BoD is irrelevant, and AFC would be too cowardly to announce it until the season has ended. Any talk of ‘change’ was just that. Talk with little or no substance.

    The idea that after a decade of being also-rans we will suddenly mount a challenge for the league is a nonsense. It’ll be interesting to see how ST renewals go this summer.

  22. Now can we have a summer where we make the signings required BEFORE the start of the season, we don’t need the shit show like we has at the 1st game of the season against Liverpool.
    Lets get the 20 goal a season mobile striker a Cavani type striker that could actually finish though.

  23. silvergunner,

    Why would we be proactive and do our business early just because Wenger has signed on for another two years? If anything we were in a better position to sign players early last summer but failed to do so. I can’t see it.

  24. Seeing a report (from Soccer Nigeria via the website below) that the deal for Henry Onyekuru is all but done with the transfer fee, wages and other personal terms agreed. I know most won’t be happy because he is only 19 about to turn 20 but something tells me he is going to replace Perez and fight it out on the flanks for mins. I saw something the other day, will have to go looking for the article again, where his manager had spoken about Monaco chasing him as a ready made replacement for Mbappe should he leave this summer.

    http://dailycannon.com/2017/05/henry-onyekuru-close-to-joining-arsenal/

  25. The crystal ball that I use to help make predictions needs a bit of realignment since I missed so badly on the top 4 and the FA cup final result. I guess if you are going to have an opinion it will be wrong once in a while. I hope I am wrong one more time but with regard to Arsene I don’t think there was ever much doubt that he would sign another contract. The only real questions were how many years and how much money. Arsene clearly wants to be the Arsenal manager and assuming good health he will probably stay at least until his mid-late 70’s as long as the club owner lets him stay. Arsene has the perfect situation for a football junkie and a control addict. Top that off with a world class wage packet and which human being in the world would voluntarily give up that sort of job.

  26. Moussa Sissoko wants our of Spuds land says he made the wrong decision and has pleaded with the club not to block his move away from them.

    Ahhh the silly season is in full swing with Citeh thus far making the biggest splashes with Silva and Edreson

  27. andy1886,

    But surely when they look at how their season has gone the things that went wrong like not being ready for the 1st game of the season, failing to change the system sooner, the West brom & Crystal Palace losses really stick in my mind for the insecurity surrounding the managers future at the time

  28. C,

    That’s Alexis’ replacement sorted then 😉

    Wenger loves a project. Not so keen to fight out for the very best players though. Same as it ever was.

  29. silvergunner,

    Thing is he’s always operated this way. Late signings to save a few quid and last minute trolley dashes after poor opening results. He’s just won the internal battle and will be feeling bullish – why would he change? He’s screwed up the transfer window many times over but hasn’t learnt yet. And I don’t expect him to change his approach now.

  30. Arsene certainly deserves a lot of credit for everything he has done for the club over all of these years and he deserves a statue in front of the Emirates. However, someone on the board has to realize that the needs of the club have to outweigh the desire to give Arsene whatever he wants. The current scenario where AW is the only person on the board who has any football knowledge and the only one capable of making decisions is not a good situation for the club.

  31. We debated this during the season but I think the idea that Arsene would tolerate someone else in the club forcing him to buy Perez or force him to make any decision about player acquisition that he did not want is certainly misguided.

  32. andy1886,

    Spot on Andy. Exactly, why would he change now. He won’t, unless the Board force him and we know how impotent they are.

    So Onyekuru will be the project signing, the next Iwobi/Sanogo/Diaby, with Wenger hoping he has again found an unpolished diamond like Henry. Problem is, that doesnt happen very often especially in these days of wall to wall scouting and analysis.

    I hope it doesnt mean the end of Alexis, but unless a £50m striker comes in can we really expect him to stay? I think not. Kroenke will sell him for the big bucks and wouldnt even give a monkeys if it’s to a PL rival.

    It’s all about the money, money, money.

  33. Orson Kaert,

    You can plan all you like but the fact is if Kroenke still owns the club and Wenger changes his mind in two years and wants another contract he’ll get one. The idea that you can believe a word either of them say has been repeatedly disproven. The story changes like the wind to suit their whim, another two years will become another two and so on until he’s physically unable to do the job. Or Kroenke sells up.

  34. andy1886,

    Well hopefully its not and the reported bumper deal that is said to have been offered to Ozil and Sanchez will see them sign, we sign Onyekuru and then use Giroud plus cash to make a final push for Lacazette.

  35. I guess we’re going to learn whether Wenger can actually change or not.

    I’d be happy to be proven wrong and have us mount a realistic challenge for the league and UCL next season (note: challenge, not necessarily win), but as Bill likes to remind us all, history tends to suggest otherwise (and we know that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it).

    It will be interesting to see if Wenger can convince himself to:

    A. put up enough money (more than he earns himself, so that’s a real test for his ego), to pay Ozil and Sanchez enough to convince them to stay.

    B. get needed, quality transfer targets in early in order to get the side up to speed from day 1 – a serious striker as opposed to a “prospect” would be a great start.

    C. coach players and improve those that have potential (how many have we seen go backwards? How many arrivals were lauded as “the missing piece”, only to be touted as “crap” within a short space of time).

    D. show the capacity to motivate the squad and get them to regularly turn in the sort of performances the squad is actually capable of – tactics would be great.

    I’m sure most could expand on that list, but just looking at the basics one would have to feel a significant level of scepticism.

  36. The FA cup demonstrated the value of having a seasoned older guy like Mert hanging around at the far back end of the squad in case of emergency even if he hardly gets any minutes during the season. The same thing could be said of Perez. Fortunately we did not need to use him much this season but I would certainly rather have Perez around in case of emergency rather then a player like Akpom. Yossi Benayoun also showed how more valuable to the squad an experienced player can be when you need him.

    Next season I think it would be a good idea to keep Cazorla, Mert and Perez around in squad positions 22-24 and for cup teams. That would mean there are not many minutes for Jeff or Iwobe or Maitland-Niles but it would be better for them to go on loan anyway.

  37. If Jenkinson, Gibbs and Wilshire leave as expected, don’t expect any other, are there any other?, home grown first team squad players to leave or we will struggle to meet the FA’s squad rules.

  38. Bill,

    I can imagine the reaction of Perez if told he would be at the back end of the squad. F**k that, adios!

  39. Orson Kaert,

    I think that why we have to wait until the announcement is made before we can make any real conclusions, my feeling is that members of the board probably wanted change this season and went back on a previously agreed gentleman’s agreement between manager and board and my guess is that it was IG that tries the coo only having his hands burnt.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some members of the board and or IG that leave this summer because that period of uncertainty where Wenger said he would tell us then didn’t was likely not his own making just the goal post being moved from behind him left out to dry in front of the media.

  40. As predictable as bears wiping their bottoms in the woods.

    All the will he , won’t he was a charade as Arsene was staying anyway.

    One thing is for sure – start badly next season & he’ll wish he hadn’t.

    Even the most ardent supporters eventually suss when they’re being mugged off.

  41. Orson

    I guess it depends on whether Perez would rather be a regular part of the rotation on a club like Deportivo or be on a “big team” with a bigger wage. He is almost 30 and has bumped around between Russia and a bottom of the table Spanish club so it was never very likely that he would move to any of the worlds big clubs and be part of the regular rotation

  42. Can’t help feeling the euphoria of Saturday, surrounding team and manager, is evaporating rapidly. 😉

  43. Silver

    Professional football is about results and not about keeping players happy. that often means that some players are not going to get a “fair crack”

  44. Nicky @ 5:39.

    That is what is supposed to happen. The FA cup is nice but I hope the club has higher ambitions.

    A club never gets better by ignoring the obvious problems and focusing energy on patting itself on the back for something that went right. You only get better by focusing on what went wrong and finding ways to fix it.

  45. This was an unusual year because in many seasons we would have had enough injuries that a player in Perez’ squad position would have become important. That is why you need to have a player like him or Mert at the back end of the squad. Part of the reason we had less injuries this year is we did not have Jack or Arteta in important squad positions.

  46. C:

    The Mahrez from Leicester’s title season would be perfect for the right sided forward spot that Ozil plays right now. Problem is there is no way we can assume we will get that Mahrez.

    No matter how you slice it, giving Ozil a huge money long term multi year new contract at the start of his age 30 season would be a mistake.

  47. Henry, as he likes to be known as = the teenage black Alexis Sanchez.
    Mahrez = the poor man’s (or in our case the Un-ambitious ) Alexis Sanchez.
    Combined to replace an actual Alexis Sanchez.

    Welcome to the new arsenal where 90year old veterans cosplay with out of service, dusty cannons. 😉

  48. C,

    Word on the radio is already that Mahrez isn’t interested in coming to Arsenal, he wants a CL club. That said I’m not convinced that he would be a good signing, he’s the sort of player who can coast without a strong manager to push him and that is 100% not something that you could ever call AW.

  49. Incidentally those supporting the decision are trotting out the same old “who would you replace him with?” nonsense. How about:

    Allegri
    Simeone
    Jardim
    Tuchel

    Just for starters.

    “But they are not available” (obviously Tuchel is).

    Which shows what a failing mentality we have around the club. Like players (at most clubs other than AFC) you don’t just go for whoever happens to be ‘available’ you have to convince players and managers at other clubs to leave their current role and come to a bigger better club.

    Or you can continue to be a big club with a small time mentality.

  50. andy1886,

    Yea not sure on Mahrez eithe and wasn’t convinced last summer either. Personally I think there are others like Lucas Moura whose future at PSG is unknown that would be a much better signing. Or if we are going to continue with the 343 to find a top CF and play him in between Sanchez and Ozil in a front 3 should both stay.

  51. not sure I can stand either another 2 years of Arsene, or another 2 years of the anti-Arsene online ranting. He’s 68 this year. How many blokes of that age change their ways on anything?
    YW, you have my grateful thanks but also my sympathies for having to blog daily on this stuff!

    As for Perez, linked with Sevilla. Plays well for them, he might make the Spanish squad. Good luck to him.

  52. C,

    If only we could sign a real top CF. Has Arsene ever gone out and bought one of those? Nope. Out of all the positions on the pitch that’s the one where AW thinks he can ‘discover’ or ‘develop’ one. He really does think that he can find the next Anelka or Henry. Why else do we keep signing project strikers? The list is endless: Wreh, Diawara, Aliadiere, Lupoli, Bendtner, Chamakh, Park, Campbell, Sanogo, Asano, and now (it appears) Onyekuru. It’s telling that the most successful one on the list is NB52, a player that we struggled to even give away when we finally gave up on him.

  53. Andy

    I don’t think the real problem with Mahrez is the manager but the fact that he is a career long average player who had one season which was out of character with the rest of his resume. Mahrez spent most of his pre-Leicester career in Ligue 2 in France and averaged about 4 -5 goals per season. It’s probably safe to say that this season is closer to what he is capable of producing rather then hoping that he can replicate his 17 goals in 15/16. Same thing with Vardy or Perez. Another example is Aaron Ramsey who I doubt will ever come close replicating what he did in 13/14. You almost always will make a mistake if you focus on a short segment and ignore the majority their body of work

  54. andy1886,

    I did see that, kind of telling that of all the apparently top young GK’s in the world to replace The Legend Buffoon, that they would chose Sczcney. Its funny that people are always talking about the quality at Arsenal, yet they chose Sczcney as the heir apparent having watched him mature over the past 2 years. He has reached that age were GK’s start to become more consistent in their play and show their quality. Not for nothing but I think if we are being completely honest with ourselves, Juve are probably WORLD’s better at identifying talent and Cech has maybe 1 more year as a #1 so why not let him and Sczcney battle it out as Sczcney has already said he wants to return to reclaim the #1 shirt.

  55. andy1886,

    So very very true when it comes to CF my friend. I have no problem with buying a young talented CF, but I think the choice of said player is what I question. Why didn’t we go after Aubameyang, Dembele, Jese, or even close the deal on Morata for instance. The funny thing for me is that people want Mbappe yet don’t realize that more often than not he is playing with Falcao(who finished 3rd behind only Cavani and Lacazette) so Falcao is the lead striker yet people are more than willing to spend money on him and I am not knocking his talent because his talent speaks for itself, but while we all want a top quality CF, I don’t see one coming this summer but I would also have no qualms at testing Lyon and Lacazette with an offer of say Giroud + 20m since nobody really knows what is going to happen with Athletico’s transfer ban.

  56. C,

    It’s possible but IMO unlikely. I think that Arsene could have signed him before now if he was really genuinely interested but I don’t think that Lacazette is in his plans. Arsene keeps telling us what great striking options we have, I expect that the only chance we have of him going big is if either Ozil and/or Alexis leave and he needs a signing to keep the natives happy (or his disciples at least).

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t see any star names this summer. I think that he believes that he is bullet proof and can do just what he wants. That’s going to be severely tested come our annual collapse next spring (or even earlier).

  57. andy1886,

    I do wonder about the whole Lacazette situation, I do think that there is/was legitimate want for the player from Arsene but I do think that part of it was cock up last season and part of it was maybe Lacazette wondered what was going to happen with the contract situation. The telling thing was that Perez was only bought because Welbeck was injured and nobody seemed to know a timeline and Giroud was once again not ready to start the season and then got injured.

    The thing is, I think most strikers would want to play for Arsene because not only the absolute freedom he gives them but also he will let them play through a rough patch; the problem comes with the fact I’m not sure he feels he will get value for money and isn’t fond of spending large on a striker.

  58. Mandes was a disgrace for Leicester last season under Ranieri. He hardly broke sweat in the CL game against Seville. He has a serious attitude problem.

    Saying that it looks perfectly teed up by Wenger for him to slip into Alexis’ boots. Money will smooth the lack of CL games.

    andy1886:
    C,

    Word on the radio is already that Mahrez isn’t interested in coming to Arsenal, he wants a CL club. That said I’m not convinced that he would be a good signing, he’s the sort of player who can coast without a strong manager to push him and that is 100% not something that you could ever call AW.

    andy1886:
    C,

    Word on the radio is already that Mahrez isn’t interested in coming to Arsenal, he wants a CL club. That said I’m not convinced that he would be a good signing, he’s the sort of player who can coast without a strong manager to push him and that is 100% not something that you could ever call AW.

    andy1886:
    C,

    Word on the radio is already that Mahrez isn’t interested in coming to Arsenal, he wants a CL club. That said I’m not convinced that he would be a good signing, he’s the sort of player who can coast without a strong manager to push him and that is 100% not something that you could ever call AW.

  59. We’ve signed the new Henry. Henry Onyekuru. Never heard of him myself. Must be better than Sonogoals.

  60. @Sam,
    Re your 7.39. One day we will hear the behind-the-scenes story of Lucas Perez. Whenever he came on as a sub, he did his job and on those rare occasions he started, he performed well.
    Yet for some reason he was treated as a near outcast.
    Arsene Wenger knows the answer but we will probably have to wait until he produces his autobiography. 😉

  61. What a farce we have become. Anybody think of any other club that has become this sort of plaything for a manager and his ridiculously rich owner?

    Anybody at the club who cares about The Arsenal? Anybody at all with a sense of shame at how the club has fallen from a proud institution?

  62. See reports that both Sanchez and Ozil want to leave. Sanchez keen to join Bayern and Ozil is willing to let his contract run down which means he is likely off to Bayern too because that’s what Bayern does; they buy one player from a club and nab the other on a free. They have been doing it for years.

  63. Dortmund apparently have moved quickly and named Nice manager Lucien Favre as their new man. Lucien Favre has just reignited Balotelli’s career, got Nice up to 3rd in Ligue Un and is said to be quite a tactical and technical manager though I haven’t really paid much attention to him or Nice I must say.

  64. If Begovic goes for 10m, if we sell Sczcney for anything less than 18m than its a bit of a joke. One is at best average and a back-up, the other for the past 2 seasons has been the #1 for a side that has truly challenged Juve for the title and is being chased by Juve, Napoli, Roma and probably a couple more.

  65. So that’s our two signings done for the summer then. Plenty of time to bed them in to the team. With Alexis and Ozil going, plus Ospina and a few others we are going to have an incredible net expenditure this summer. What’s not to be happy about? Arsene has saved the club a fortune. Onyekuru has the potential to be world class according to Wenger. Hang on, that’s what he said about Sanogo isn’t it?

  66. C,

    Can’t see Chezzer going if Ospina’s off. Wenger will explain to him that he will get to compete against Cech for the number one spot. Remember? The spot that used to be his any way.

  67. Wavey,

    Yea I hope Sczcney doesn’t leave,it doesn’t make sense. For as good as Cech was at times, he has what, 1 year left at the top and since Sczcney is ALREADY on the books why not keep him and tell him he will compete this year and if he wins it then its his until he turns to shit.

  68. Limestonegunner,

    Yup, Stan has to go, though the hair can stay.

    I went to wikipedia, expecting to find out that Stan is a business genius who scraped his way up from nowhere. Nope, like most billionaires, he got lucky:

    “On a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, Kroenke met his future wife, Ann Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress. They married in 1974. Already wealthy from real estate, he accrued significant additional wealth when he and Ann inherited a stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. upon the 1995 death of her father, James Walton. As of September 2015, that stake is worth $4.8 billion.”

    Says it all, doesn’t it.

  69. consolsbob,

    I pick your comment out at random and just laugh

    Shame

    Haha

    You lot are shameless

    We just won the FA cup for a record in HISTORY

    Shame haha

  70. Still loving the FA Cup win but let’s be honest, for anyone with a better long term memory than a goldfish the underlying problems that have left us without a league title or even a genuine challenge for the last thirteen years are the real issue here. For a club with 13 previous successes this represents one of the longest periods without a win since our first in 1931. That is simply not good enough and there is no logical reason to expect this to change under the current manager.

  71. Bill,

    from yesterday I understand and just my opinion but i felt he should have got some more playing tie when Iwobi was going through his bad spell.

  72. andy1886,

    We have gone from title challengers to a very good cup team. i am still over the moon about the cup win due to the circumstances surrounding the team the quality of the opposition in both the semi final and final.

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