On Summer Lovin’, New Signings & Departures

It’s been ‘a bit’ of a summer for England. Not the seniors, they are beyond hope but the youth levels are enjoying their time in the sun. The Under-17s scrambled their way to victory at the Toulon Tournament, the de facto yardstick by which teams at that level were judged before FIFA hopped on the bandwagon.

England retained the trophy which they won in 2016, with Calum Chambers in the squad. Next up were the Under-20s winning the Little World Cup; Ashley Maitland-Niles involved and things are looking rosy for the future with English football.

Whether it will last is another matter. The Under-21s have a tough group featuring hosts Poland and defending champions, Sweden. Good luck to Chambers and Rob Holding, and, sniff, come home safe.

Krystian Bielik is in the Poland squad, Hector Bellerin with Spain. Ditto, gentlemen; ditto.

Alexis and Shkodran Mustafi are at the Confederations Cup, and if all goes to plan, neither will return to training before the end of July, if at all. If you fancy a punt on any of the summer tournaments, you can get £20 Free Bets With Sky Bet

Two trophies is two more than the seniors have managed in their entire existence. The Rous Cup, Home International Championships; sorry, they don’t count since frankly, the opposition was – how can I put it politely – for the most part, not very good. Nor were England before you say anything.

The spate of victories means the usual soul-searching about how we can progress the next ‘Golden Generation’ to the senior level. Adding on, ‘so we can be let down by them as well’, just seems cynical but let’s face it, we all think it.

Pontificating about how we get these players into Premier League sides misses the point; it’s when they pull on the England shirt that they are let down by uninspiring coaches or natives who are hopelessly out of their depth.

But crucially, when they get into the Premier League, they appear in the least adaptable style of football.

What’s That Coming Over The Hill, Is It A Striker?

The Premier League is an exciting product in terms of action, competitiveness and speed of play. Technically, that trio of traits makes it hard to be excellent, which is what players need to be to succeed in Europe or with their national teams.

Until coaches at English clubs learn to marry those four together, the gap to the elites at club and international levels will widen. I don’t expect Spurs or Liverpool to fare well – indeed, one or both will bid the Champions League farewell at the group stage – but the other three could reach the latter stages.

Not win it, just the last eight. The galling thought will be three of them reaching the last four, or an all-English final. It would underline how far behind we’ve fallen as a club. No doubt we’ll lose the tie against the English side when we meet them in the quarter-final of the Europa League.

Not that I have low expectations or anything like that. The silence at Arsenal regarding squad strengthening is deafening. Other clubs are waving their shiny new players around which in itself is not worrying. Where it becomes an issue is that they will be ready to join their new team-mates for pre-season training.

Of course it’s possible that Arsenal could do the same but previous summers tell us that they won’t. Kolasinac will, he’s already tucked in the back pocket but adding a left back alone isn’t going to haul us into the position where we are genuine title challengers.

We’re in for Mbappe with no evidence whatsoever that we’ve made the £100m plus Giroud which is circulating. Are we being dumped on our Aulas’ by Lyon over Lacazette? Whatever the case is, the club’s Transfer Window Action Team’s not very dynamic.

Life Is A Cabaret, Old Chum

There is good reason why, in their defence. Mbappe is a punt but a transfer of that magnitude isn’t going to be simple to negotiate; it took United a long time to land Paul Pogba and others before then were fought out in the back pages over a month or two.

Which is all well and good. Alexis’ situation needs resolving if it isn’t already. To be honest, it’s a massive lost and PR disaster for the club whenever he leaves. A damning indictment of Wenger’s management over the past few years. Announcing Mbappe or Lacazette and then losing Sanchez isn’t strengthening the squad but its addressing a hole we’ve dug ourselves into.

The concern is that we have taken our eye off the ball so far as other positions are concerned. With departures aplenty forecast for this summer, there will be holes to plug.

FIFAs transfer window opened for Premier League players the moment the final whistle on 2016-17 blew. It seems from the outside looking in, that we weren’t ready to move, held hostage by players set to leave and more importantly, the manager’s future.

As ever, it feels like we’re playing catch-up. The test comes in a fortnight’s time when the FIFA global transfer window opens, followed quickly by a return to pre-season training.

At that point, concerns will either fade or be very real.

’til Tomorro.

50 thoughts on “On Summer Lovin’, New Signings & Departures

  1. Groundhog Alert!!

    Since the ‘catalyst’ for change turned out to be a damp squib it’s hard to rationalise why ‘this summer will be different!’ It won’t be.

    The good news is that the peasants have been stirred, it isn’t going to take much to get those pitchforks and flaming torches out on the streets again.

  2. Hi Andy,

    Umm — ‘Good’ news and ‘pitchforks and flaming torches’ are not necessarily synonymous. Next you will be throwing in ‘a bit of rape and pillaging, with a couple of pints and a few steak and kidney pies to round it off.

    Do you have any Norsemen blood flowing thru your veins? 😀

  3. Nice One, YW, and hard tho it must be to produce a Post – A – Day, you manage it with aplomb.

    I am intrigued to have a clarification after reading Andy, when you said, -“the youth levels are enjoying their time in the some” did you mean the Somme, or was that the Sun? I am no longer sure of anything. 🙂

    The Mbappe thing also intrigues me – not specifically you actually – but your article does mention both a transfer deathly silence from Arsenal, and also a rumoured £100m bid.

    It would be wonderful if we make a bid for a top player and it gets accepted, but common sense would tell us that the rumour of 18 y.o. Mbappe’s £100m transfer is simply pie in the sky, and has already been discounted in the minds of many of us – tho not all, it seems.

    Leaving aside the money involved, even if we matched Real’s bid, is there any possible doubt as to which club Mbappe would choose? On the descant side, if Bellerin ( another candidate for a rumour) was free to choose – who would he rather play for? Arsenal or Barça? I can type a rhetorical question with the best of them.

    Anyhow, Yogi, you are one of an elite group of one, 🙂 who currently can exercise my mind in these boring transfer rumoured times. Thank you. 😀

  4. HenryB,

    Not that I know of, although I am a descendant on my mother’s side of a certain English gentleman that was responsible for removing an English king’s head a while back. Probably explains my puritan ways and revolutionary tendencies….💀

  5. Jonnygunner,

    Yes, I don’t mention it when I’m visiting the Emerald Isle as you can imagine ☘

    Could do with a bit of a revolution in N5 although chopping off Arsene’s head might be a bit extreme. Stan…well that could be another matter altogether 😨

  6. Your mother’s forebear was Oliver Cromwell – or an actual executioner??

    There were two heavily disguised executioners, who customarily were aristocratic Frenchmen, as ‘ordinary folk’ were not allowed to decapitate a king.

    The ringleaders who voted to execute the King were later hung, drawn and quartered, by Charles II, if they were still alive – others who had already died were dug up, and had their heads stuck on the walls of Westminster Hall — Cromwell’s was left there for 21 years.

    Take your pick?? 😀

  7. Jonnygunner,

    That would explain the webbed feet then. Personally I think that the wiser decision was to stay where you were – even more rain over there. And strange ideas about what ‘football’ is….

  8. That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, Nicky. Evidence is needed here – so your book must be pretty thick if everyone in it went around bashing up machinery. 🙂

    Me, I am from aristocratic stock – descended from the House of Sod All. 🙂

  9. To whoever posted yesterday about me “downgrading” Giroud, think about this, if he was so class then why was he dropped and relegated to CF2 this season, if he was so good then why did Arsene chase Vardy, Higuain, and Suarez, if Giroud was so class then why has he gone consecutive seasons with 10+ match barren spells. The other thing to consider is this, there have only been 2 strikers under Arsene’s reign that you would consider a ‘regular starter that never had a 20 goal season: Chamakh and Giroud.

    Is Giroud a good striker, I have never said he wasn’t, is he a striker that can lead a line to the title, NOPE, the past 5 years have shown that.

  10. HenryB,

    Yep, Olly C. Although as you say unfortunately we didn’t see it through and let the Monarchy back in. Now we still have them now together with all that ‘class’ nonsense that Americans find so quaint. See? still have those revolutionary tendencies, it must be genetic!

  11. Yogi, your daily posts are much appreciated!

    Lyon President has confirmed a very nice offer from Arsenal has been tabled, so we will see what happens.

  12. Andy,

    The colonists in America had a go and were pretty successful, helped by the 4,000 miles between the UK and America. Maybe it was some of Mr Cromwell’s descendants, related to you, were giving grief over there to Lieutenant-General Arsene Wenger of the King’s Own Royal Arsenal.

    Corbyn’s The colonists mantra was ‘No taxation without representation’!
    Or as you guys say — Sod Austerity! 😀

  13. C:
    To whoever posted yesterday about me “downgrading” Giroud, think about this, if he was so class then why was he dropped and relegated to CF2 this season, if he was so good then why did Arsene chase Vardy, Higuain, and Suarez, if Giroud was so class then why has he gone consecutive seasons with 10+ match barren spells.The other thing to consider is this, there have only been 2 strikers under Arsene’s reign that you would consider a ‘regular starter that never had a 20 goal season:Chamakh and Giroud.

    Is Giroud a good striker, I have never said he wasn’t, is he a striker that can lead a line to the title, NOPE, the past 5 years have shown that.

    Memo to Garulous C,

    You appear to be arguing with yourself! Are you winning? 😀

  14. Oludotun:

    Even when the Giroud is playing well and scoring goals, you still find reasons why “supposed” better players are not playing.
    At Arsenal, he’s Arsene’s favourite; now in France, though not the coach’s favourite, but the coach hates the better players.

    Stop downgrading a man who’s diligent at his work…. He might not be good enough for you but he must be good at his job to be getting these appearances and goals.

    Nope not this time! 😉

  15. Davy Klaassen is a really good get for Everton and it means the end of Barkley but I don’t want him. Koeman will have a really good midfield with Klaassen, Schneiderlin and Gueye.

  16. Thanks Yogi,

    I seem to remember United pulling off the Pogba deal quicker than we did Mustafi?

    I have to agree with Henry, the Mbappe rumour is just that. AFC are totally incapable of pulling off anything like that. As always with this time of year the bigger question for me is who are we shipping out. The answer? Like every summer, no-one. It’s going to be a long one.

  17. I tend to agree with you Yogi, it does look as though we were unprepared for the transfer window and I do think that a large portion of that was Arsene’s situation and the players contracts. The problem that I have is that Arsene banged on about his contract situation not affecting the players but in the reality of it all, it not only affected the players but it affected the club moving forward.

    I lay the blame squarely in two directions: Arsene and the BoD. It seemed like once Ivan made that statement about change, it seemed like it became Ivan vs everybody else at the club. Now that you look at things, its almost as if Arsene’s contract hovered over everything and because of that we are unsure what is going to happen with Sanchez and Ozil but also why aren’t we strengthening. I know there is still time but wouldn’t it be wise to bring in players now so that they could not only get settled in their personal lives but familiar with London prior to pre-season training starting? I mean it just makes sense to me.

    The other thing is, why were they in France, was it just for Lacazette and Mbappe and if so then why is it taking so long when we have seen other clubs already improving their squads and addressing areas of need.

  18. @Henry B,
    Yeah, a bit OTT. In my perverse way I was thinking of the latter-day Luddites who now design football slippers, with guaranteed ankle injuries due to the absence of proper protection. 😉

  19. There is really no argument that we are behind in our business because of previous summer’s failures and an inattention or inability to achieve renewals if a number of important players. One that has received virtually no attention is Ramsey’s.

    Failing to purchase any outfield players summer 2015 was a terrible mistake. And all the problems we are facing now seem to stem from the consequences of that and our failure to win the league 2015-16. This last season AW’s contract saga paralyzed the club.

  20. Bayern (4 players so far) and Everton just get on with it, we are hand waving trying to show everyone how ambitious we are . It is all the same b/s. Why should the sane tried and tested failures on the managing / coaching side now miraculously deliver what they have failed to deliver over time. Answer, they won’t. Long summer even longer season. It will be over by Christmas.

  21. C,

    That’s a bit tricky.

    — “I lay the blame squarely in two directions: Arsene and the BoD” — so, Arsene is in the East, and the BoD (Stan) is in the West, from which I figure you are laying the blame in directions which form a great swathe covering the whole earth. I like your thinking – not a lot – but I do like it. 😀

  22. HenryB,

    Yup, Arsene to the East, Stan and the rest of the cronies to the West, that way they have no where to run and hide! 😉

    Stan and the BoD should have did what Koeman has done with Ross Barkley: here is a contract and the terms negotiated, if you sign it then great because we want you BUT if you don’t sign it by this time then you are free to go but the club will not be held up by one person.

  23. If Arsenal have put a “very nice” offer on the table for Lacazette and Lyon don’t want it, then lets go get Aubameyang.

  24. nicky:
    @Henry B,
    Yeah, a bit OTT.In my perverse way I was thinking of thelatter-day Luddites who now design football slippers, with guaranteed ankle injuries due to the absence of proper protection.

    I think you will find, Nicky, that was before they made Cinderella’s size 4 UK glass slipper that looked cute, on her, but not so much on Giroud as he wears a size 16 UK.

    As part of Giro’s Arsenal contract, there is a clause requiring those glass slippers, and a chastity belt, same as Cinderella’s, to stop him wandering, and us wondering. 😀

  25. HenryB,

    Nothing of the sort, a fine picture of Slim Pickens as Taggart and Harvey Korman as Hedly Lamaar from a fine picture with a crazy ending.

  26. C,

    Why aren’t we starting here? Then again how would we convince Aubameyang to come to Arsenal apart from decent wages?

  27. Limestonegunner,

    For me there were 5 names on my list: Lacazette, Aubameyang, Dembele of Celtic, Belotti and Morata. I really think if we have offered a goos offer and Lyon doesn’t want it then we can most certainly offer it to Dortmund for Aubameyang. I think not only the wages but I also think playing with Sanchez and Ozil in the PL would be a good start as well. If we signed him I think both Ozil and Sanchez stay and you have a mouth watering attack that can also feast on Xhaka’s ability to play those balls over the top.

  28. Oh, those transfer blues, but ……..

    Summer loving had me a blast
    Summer loving happened so fast
    I met a girl crazy for me
    But could she afford my transfer fee
    Summer days drifting away to .. oh .. those summer nights

    Tell me more, tell me more
    Did you get very far
    Tell me more, tell me more
    Did you ooh aah in the car

    She swam by me she got a cramp
    He swam by me got my suit damp
    I saved her life she nearly drowned
    He showed off splashing round ‘n around
    Summer sun something’s begun but .. oh .. those summer nights

    You remember those, Andy, don’t you — all smiles, no frowns???? 😀

  29. Just been watching the U21s game – Sweden v England, and not wanting to be Untold Arsenal, or anything, but it has to be said that some of the refereeing decisions are more informed by the Swedes diving all over the place than the real facts.

    Chambers has been pretty good — but he does look slow ………

  30. I really dont think the Lacazette chase amounts to anything. Lyon usually only make one big sale a season and they already sold tolisso for 41.5 mill pound. Secondly Aulas is a big hurdle to go through or around, whatever suits your fancy. He sees Lyon as a big club and will only sell his best players to Elite clubs like Bayern, Barca and the like. Aulas was also angling hard to lead the G-14 from the get go, but that instead went to David Dein and only when Dein had to step down because he left Arsenal did Aulas become the Pres of the G-14. Alas, for both Dein and Aulas their presidentships were short. Dein lasted only 6 month and Aulas only about 9 months after which G 14 disbanded. I think Aulas psyke is a complex one and it seems he hasnt forgiven Arsenal for taking his dream away from him.
    Dein was very much the status quo guy when it came to the G 14 while Aulas had big plans amongst them expanding the G 14 with an additional 22 teams. Invites were out but to late, cause FIFA and UEFA pretty much forced them to close down. Aulas plans for a bigger group of clubs might have had more power towards FIFA and UEFA eventhough they did get a smaller compensation for disbanding.
    Thats why I think Lacazette is dead in the water.

    Another rumour is about James Rodriguez and thats even less likely to happen. Mendez is his agent and AW doesnt do business with Mendes. That also exclude Diego Costa, as I have suggested by some as a target for Arsenal. Again he is a mendes player

  31. Don’t know what all this immigration stuff is all about — just had a Turkish/Cypriot meal — Large Lamb Shish Kebab, Large Chicken Shish and a Large Donner Kebab (that’s just for me 🙂 ) — Immigration? Bring it on — lubberly! 😀

  32. Raven,

    That was your interpretation of what occurred.

    The G14 was a 14 club pressure group trying to improve the financing of the European football competitions, between 2000 and 2008.

    UEFA/FIFA were worried about them forming a break away authority and agreed to an improved relationship to pay for players on International duty, and to compensate the clubs for player injuries and to share the proceeds more fairly with the clubs, and in turn the G14 – now with 18 clubs – yeah I know – disbanded and the European clubs, under UEFA, expanded to 100 and this led to a revamp of the CL etc under Platini.

    Dein had been sacked by Arsenal, when he was six months into a 2 year contract as Chairman of the G14, so had no choice but to resign — and in 2007 Aulas replaced him, and agreed to disband the group, provided the terms mentioned above were agreed by FIFA/UEFA.

    So your personalisation of his poor relationship with Dein is fictitious and did not influence Aulas in his dealings with Arsenal, as he is simply protective of his club – and why not.

  33. Italian reports say Arsenal are talking to Juve over a deal for Lemina. If those reports are true then Ramsey or whoever else had hopes of playing alongside Xhaka should be worried.

  34. yes henry, thats is my take on Aulas.

    And yes I did get a few facts about the G 14 wrong because I took it out from memory. I should ofc have checked the facts

    I dont think he had or have a poor relationship with Dein, but he somehow have issues with Arsenal. Maybe its not from the G 14, but that he simply ont sell his best players to Arsenal, because he consider Arsenal to either be inferior or on par with Lyon. Lyon did after all win the french league 7 years in a row.

    Keep dreaming about Lacazette, but its not going to happen

  35. That’s OK, Raven, and you are right in my opinion about Aulas being very difficult to negotiate with for the transfer of players.

    Nothing seems straightforward with Aulas, and there have been rumours in the past that he does not like Wenger (?) Who knows?

    I do not dream about Lacazette, Mbappe or whoever – we will buy a player or two this summer – or we won’t.
    None of us fans can affect the outcome, so no point agonising over it – just cross your fingers.

  36. HenryB,

    Nuff said there H…I don’t get agitated by whether or not we sign someone, unless we are in for Messi (contract stalemate) AND Ronaldo (wants out of Madrid)…and hey, just in case it does actually happen you heard it on here first! 😉

  37. The rumour mill is talking up a chase between Everton and Arsenal for the signature of Niang, who was on loan at Watford last season. Is this a hint at the real aspirations of Wenger in the transfer market? Another player on the cheap who manged very little in his loan spell at Watford. I’m sure he’d be just perfect to fill the shoes of Alexis, or maybe Perez. I cannot see the signing of a player like that doing anything to convince Alexis that Wenger is seriously going to battle for the title next season. It is however more in keeping with the type of player I would expect Wenger to target.

  38. Wavey,

    So the rumour comes down to the interest Wenger apparently showed in Niang in 2012 before he joined Milan. Everton have allegedly decide not to sign Niang for €18m as he isn’t consistent enough and doesn’t score enough goals. So another player on the cheap who Wenger thinks just needs to develop to his true potential when he’s patently not good enough? Another player to be let down by Wenger’s inability to develop players who need help to kick on? We have a gap in the squad for one of those now that Sanogo has gone.

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