Getting Your Aulas’ In A Twist, Lemar & Dare I Mention Terry

Morning chums. There’s no ‘p’ there because that’s already been taken. Firstly by Jean-Michel Aulas, who claims that we want to keep Giroud and then re-emphasized that with a declaration of Alexandre Lacazette’s intention to stay.

That’s about 12 hours after he’d said that the player could leave. And around 12 hours previously, he denied Arsenal had bid for Lacazette. Which was a day or two after he confirmed they had.

Anyway, Lacazette isn’t leaving. Quite where isn’t entirely clear. We presume he means Lyon but this is a club president who is desperate for PSG to lodge a bid because (a) it means he gets more cash, and, (b) they are French. French clubs should buy French players is his motto, conveniently overlooking that half of his squad isn’t French. And PSG intend to buy a French striker this summer. Just not his French striker.

Aulas is Barry Fry, Ken Bates and David Sullivan rolled into a French one, and equally tedious. Then again, he’s not the only incredibly dull European president but enough of picking on the French today.

Summer wouldn’t be summer without Barcelona poking their oar in somewhere it isn’t wanted. Riyad Mahrez told them he is going to join Arsenal as the Catalans were too slow in making an offer for his services. In retaliation, Barcelona told Hector Bellerin that he had ten days (nine left and counting) to tell Arsenal he is ‘doing one’.

Lemar Catch 9.20am Flight

Conveniently, Spain are in the Under-21 final against Germany on Friday, which is the halfway point in that timescale. So, return home Saturday, celebrations and official duties Sunday, back with the family Monday and Tuesday. It leaves the full back three days. If there were sound and visual effects on this post, it would be ‘DER-DER-DER’ with juddering camera angles switching between protangonists of this 1970s sitcom.

On Wednesday, they look elsewhere for a full back. Apparently.

The rest of the stories doing the rounds relate to Alexis Sanchez. And Mesut Özil, of course. Curiously, nobody is making overtures for the German international which suggests he is staying whether he likes it or not.

Or, that his prospective employers are being very discreet. This is ‘transferland’ and discreet is not in the vocabulary. Well, it is now, obviously, but that’s because I made it up. The word, not the place; that’s very real, yes indeedy.

The claims this morning are that the pair have been offer 20% pay-rises, taking salaries over £250k per week. It’s short of what Alexis has told others he wants and is performance-related if the hacks are correct. With a plethora of contracts being renegotiated, this is going to be a common theme.

Arsenal, it’s claimed, want to make it dependent upon returning to the Champions League. No response from either agent yet but let’s be honest, it begs for a contract clause to be inserted which requires the club to sign at least 3 first team players with a market value of £40m or more.

I’m all for performance-related pay but Arsenal must do their bit as well. It’s no good putting the onus on players if they don’t invest in strengthening the squad.

Old Hands, Old Faces

They may be doing just that. Reports this morning claim the club is confident of landing Thomas Lemar in a £30m deal. The “starlet” is set to arrive early next week. Handy that the transfer window opens on Saturday really, isn’t it?

AC Milan think so. They and Marseille are slugging it out over who is going to be rejected by Laurent Koscielny first. According to the French media, the central defender is also wanted by Manchester City – isn’t everyone? – and Chinese Super League clubs – isn’t everyone? – this summer.

Not that I am putting 2 + 2 together and getting 5, but John Terry has yet to sign for anyone.

It’s the sort of lunacy that would surprise no-one in the slightest; it’s football, after all.

’til Tomorrow.

98 thoughts on “Getting Your Aulas’ In A Twist, Lemar & Dare I Mention Terry

  1. A couple of aula sandwiches for me please me!
    I regularly read the fiver from the guardian in addition to arsenal blogs and other football news. There was a prediction on there, that the game between England & Germany would go on to penalties and it was incredibly so, though I missed the match. My question is why is that most of the U-21 players from England find first team premier league experience difficult to maintain?

  2. Morning YW. It is a bore this tedium of the transfer window. I have to be honest life was easier when we had no window and could make signings at any point in the season. I know, I know I am showing my age but I could argue that the transfer window is part of the reason of the inflated prices, yeah the TV money is a big part of it but I think the transfer window has a part to play.
    Anyway that’s my rant over have a good Wednesday people.

  3. Good morning folks.

    Hiyo Silvergunner, that was hardly a rant, you can do better than that if you try. 😊

  4. Salut YW Aulas cest un espece de merde.

    Jonnygunner yep Susie G was a Darling for. Check out Straw Dogs.

  5. @Silvergunner,
    Couldn’t agree more. The Summer and Winter Windows are an absolute bind and only result in ridiculously high fees and wages, with inevitable panic buying over the final days of each Window.
    And while we are at it, let’s restore the integrity of a contract so that the final year (or even earlier) will cease to mean the beginning of a need to agree an extension. 😉

  6. A very nice summary, Yogi, and saves me looking at any of the tedious “X is AW target” — “Oh No, he isn’t” claptrap which is fine for pantomime – but demeaning for those who write stuff to try and catch the innocent.

    Umm, not that I would dream of mentioning pseudologia fantastica and your claim to have made up the word ‘discreet’ or even its sound-a-like ‘discrete’ in the same breath, but …… 😀

  7. silvergunner,

    Last Sunday at a family lunch with nine of us round the table, my wife accused me of intolerance. I replied that I was one of the most tolerant people on the planet. After a few moments of stunned silence all but my two year old grandson burst into disbelieving laughter, I rose from my seat in high dudgeon, I’ll not stand for that sort of thing, then the two year old started laughing too.

  8. Hi Nicky,

    The transfer window is tedious simply because we cannot wait to see what goodies grandma has bought us — altho reverting to the ‘buy players at any time’ could bring even more cynicism to the winning of trophies, by Chelsea, Manyu or Citeh (say) struggling for a winning streak in the last month of the season and buying up players to deprive their opponents of said players and literally ‘buying’ titles.

    No – No, Sir – let’s keep the Maureen and Seb in jobs, at Manyoo or Citeh, by letting them lard their squads with as many expensive players as possible bought this summer. 😀

  9. Orsey,

    Did your 2 year old grandson explain the Offside Rule to you, before laughing?

    -‘A player is in an offside position if: he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent’ — therefore if a player is level with one or more defenders before getting to the ball first – he is not off side.

    You make me laugh too! 🙂

  10. Thanks Yogi.

    I was talking to a mate of mine and I think the one thing that isn’t discussed with Sanchez rumors to Bayern is that Bayern don’t bend to players wage demands. They have a sort of incremental wage structure and way they do wages. For instance, Kroos demanded a significant wage increase and was immediately sold to Madrid.

    The Lacazette stuff is all over the map, I guess just making conversation but, what happens if Lacazette doesn’t come and we are left with Giroud and Welbeck again?

  11. To be onside there needs to be two defenders between the attacker and the goal line, if he is level with the second last defender there is only one between him and the goal line so he is not onside.

  12. Great post yogi.

    Thomas Lemar seems like the perfect Arsene Wenger signing. A starlet who is in the mid range price wise at $30M and whose skill set profiles best as a midfielder. We have not had a lot of success over the years with the attacking players who are precocious starlets that we have brought into the squad. Players like Ox, Sanogo Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey have had varying levels of success but buying a relatively inexperienced player always comes with an extra layer of risk and if they ever come good it usually takes a few years.

  13. Wavey,

    I know, how saddening that would be especially if Arsene got his pay raise but because the club didn’t want to invest we lost Ozil and Sanchez. Maybe its because work has already pissed me off but for all the people that are laughing at Manure right now, they are at least spending, able to attract quality players even without being in the CL and have won the EL and are now back in the CL.

  14. Good afternoon …
    Thanks for the post.

    Aulas is becoming chameleonic by the day….switching grounds every now and then; I bet this is not the last. He’s probably drumming up for more cash as you have said.

    The Arsenal way is throwing up more confusion for the rumour mongers – so we’ll be seeing a plethora of stories that begs to question if the media knows anything at all.
    Bellerin? Barcelona giving him a deadline?
    Koscielny to AC or Marseille? What!!!
    I read somewhere this morning that Arsene and Ivan are in Nice – and the report went on to add that it means we are singing Ligue 1 players (Mbappe, Lacazette, Lemar included).

    On the contract of Sanchez and Ozil, you wrote:
    ” Arsenal, it’s claimed, want to make it dependent upon returning to the Champions League. No response from either agent yet but let’s be honest, it begs for a contract clause to be inserted which requires the club to sign at least 3 first team players with a market value of £40m or more.”
    40m like Stones? Holding came in for 2m and every game he’s played has been excellent.
    Mbappe, Dembele, Lacazette… and most of the players making the rumour rounds in this transfer window…none of them cost that much….even Messi (not a dime). I advise you balance up this craze for “costly” signings with the fact that price is not the same thing as performance.

    I expect more swing of the story wand from the blogettas…conjuring reports out of nothing.

  15. I remember the discussion when we were chasing Julian Draxler. If we buy Thomas Lemar then maybe Arsene can turn him into the next Thierry Henry or RVP. Yeah right.

  16. Bill,

    Couple of things, Lemar can play as a winger and most think that he will ultimately end up as a winger having played there for Monaco. The other thing is that the difference between the players you named and Lemar, is that he is more polished even at this age and has shown more end product than the players you named already (theo is gets the nod for goals between them two). He might be inexperienced but something must be said about the player if he can be as key a player as he was for a Monaco side that won Ligue Un with such an inexperienced side.

  17. C,

    If Sanchez and Ozil are as concerned with the ambitions of the club as much as they are the wage deal it is likely that they will be off this summer. Apart from the rumours over Mbappe there has been nothing to suggest that we are likely to be any better than last season. Sanchez, in particular, showed on a number of occasions that he was less than thrilled with the players alongside him. This needs to be a summer where we genuinely show our ambition in the transfer market. A long way to go, but it is important to hit the ground running for a change.

  18. Losers tonight in the Confederations Cup have to hang around until Sunday afternoon to play in a third place play-off. So you get knocked out and then have to lift yourself to play in some meaningless game 4 days later just so that the TV companies can squeeze a tiny bit more revenue out of the tournament.

  19. Wavey,

    Generally agree with all of that. I actually think the one position where both want to see an upgrade would be at the CF position. I think it is becoming more and more clear if it wasn’t before that we need an actual CF. I’m tired of hearing this non-sense about Giroud as #1 for France so its clear he is quality; or non-sense about the massive dip in form of Ozil and how he hasn’t changed us. The one thing that is crystal clear is that if one or both are going to stay they will want a CF who can score goals. They need to see ambition from the club and while signing Lemar would be a start, playing and tussling over Lacazette is a worrying sign that Arsene and Arsenal under Arsene haven’t changed when it comes to certain players. The strange thing for me is that, if reports are true and Arsene are willing to spend 100m on Mbappe, then for them to haggle over 5-10m for Lacazette or not chasing Aubameyang at around the same 50-65m range shows how flawed their thinking is.

  20. Oludotun,

    We’ve tried searching for cheap forwards in the past. The last effort was Sanogo. It was a great deal as we got him on a free transfer. Bit of a shame that he couldn’t actually play football at this (or any) level then. Let’s not bother and stick with what we’ve got then. Oh, but we can’t because Sanchez will walk out the door unless we show some ambition. We could make him stay until next summer and let him go on a free. That would be a great idea.

  21. C

    I will happily take anyone we sign but I have lost count of the number of times we have heard that this player is better and this time it will be different then the other ones. I will remain skeptical about signing inexperienced players especially attacking players since we have had very little luck with developing them to reach their “full potential”.

  22. Bill,

    Lemar and Draxler are different players. Draxler has the makings of a CF but needs to continue to find his goal scoring touch at PSG. Lemar is much more of a winger and especially a modern day winger but in no way shape or form eve considered in the smallest amount a CF or striker.

  23. Law 11 : Offside.

    The Offside position
    A player is in an offside position if:

    any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and
    any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent

    The hands and arms of all players, including the goalkeepers, are not considered.
    A player is not in an offside position if level with the:
    second-last opponent, or the last two opponents

    Let’s call yours; “The On-side Rule”
    To be onside there needs to be two defenders between the attacker and the goal line, if he is level with the second last defender there is only one between him and the goal line so he is not onside.

    Yeah, right.

  24. C,

    Wenger has come back to Lacazette on several occasions over the last few years. If we are really in for him this time and are now haggling it suggests Wenger only rates him at a certain price and feels that anything more is paying over the odds. I’d expect Lacazette to wait it out and join ATM in January.

  25. What happens to us if we end up with Giroud and Welbeck will depend on whether or not we keep Sanchez. If we keep him for another season and he plays out his contract then we will be fighting for 4th place again next season. If we lose Sanchez and don’t replace him we will be fighting for 7th place and the last Europa league spot.

  26. C,

    I was disappointed when we did not get Draxler – or he chose to go to PSG – but I have seen a number of PSG matches since, and he has never really lived up to my expectations and looks rather ‘ordinary’.

  27. Bill,

    the other thing is that the players that you named outside of say Yaya were all in their teens and weren’t a massive part of a side that won a league title. Lemar will be 22 years old with 100+ appearances already to his name. I mean lets be honest, you can be skeptical of signing inexperienced attacking players, but outside of Ozil and Sanchez, can you name an experienced player that Arsene has signed since moving to the Emirates that he developed? RvP might be the closest but he left as soon as he got fully fit. No way all these players can be this inconsistent.

  28. Wavey,

    I think the one thing that people forget about he Lacazette story is that Lyon opened a new stadium and Lacazette stayed as the “main” attraction and wanted to open the stadium (I think he signed a new contract at that time too or just before) so he was part of the opening of their new stadium and had turned down himself a number of offers from several clubs that summer. The thing now is that he is ready to leave and Arsene’s valuation are shit, lets be honest here. If Arsene is haggling over 5m (and I know its not my money but still) then just pay it because the alternative is Giroud and Welbeck for another season and I don’t care what Arsene says about Giroud, the fact that he was clearly CF2 and to my mind only started because Welbeck couldn’t start consecutive matches, shows his time is up.

  29. Oludotun @ 1:42

    You are correct in suspecting Aulas is just being …….. Aulas.
    He has always been a difficult negotiator with whichever club he is selling to – which is fair enough, but personally I would give him the finger, and go look elsewhere for another quality CF, particularly as Lacazette has made no secret of his wish to play for AM. [We would only be storing up trouble for the future.]

    It is not my money as I have said many times before, but £45m for Lacazette is bordering on silly — and now Aulas has moved the ante to £57m that is plain ridiculous.]

  30. HenryB,

    I was rather disappointed we didn’t get Draxler and his performances for PSG have been strange. He started off in spectacular form and against Barca he was superb but then he kind of was a mixed bag of ordinary, superb and shit for the rest of the season. The one thing that frustrates me most about Draxler is that he is clearly blessed with so much talent, pace, athleticism all wrapped up in a tall frame, but its like everytime he loses the ball the next time he is going to try harder to beat his man. When he plays simple, he is a joy to watch, when he tries to hard, he is “ordinary”.

  31. That’s how I see it too, C.

    He has the talent – he is not applying too well at the moment, but he is still young and with experience …… he reminds me a bit like Theo, actually.

  32. HenryB,

    Yea, but he is such a talent and the thing is, his current managers: Emery and Low, are really good at developing players. The other thing working in his favor is that he is so young ….I think this is a big year for him but I think he will take that next step and show more consistency this year.

  33. HenryB,

    Unfortunately Lyon can call the shots as they believe they have a deal with ATM in the bag in January if Lacazette doesn’t go this summer. When you consider that the figure being bandied around for Lukaku is £100m, the Lacazette fee doesn’t seem that crazy. A ridiculous amount of money, but not much of a surprise in the current market.

  34. Henry

    Time will tell how it turns out with Draxler but it looks like he was certainly over rated. Over the years we we heard that Draxler is one of the most talented ed players to come along in many years. He had pace and great t cubical skill and close control and just
    Iike Ox he was on he cusp of true greatness and next season it would all come together. That story has been repeated many many times in the last 10 years and the vast vast majority of the players never come close to living up to the hype. That is why I have grown skeptical when I hear about the next great player

    C

    Draxler’s great start at PSG is another example of a player having a few adrenaline fueled early performances that they are not able to replicate once the early adrenaline wears off.

    Fair enough about Lemar’s age. I thought he was another teenager. However he is certainly not the proven goal scorer we need right now. May be he can be the next Julian Draxler or Alex Iwobe.

  35. Bill,

    I don’t think it was as much a few adrealine matches because he was up and down the rest of the season, we will see what happens next season.

    Lemar is 21 set to be 22 years old and 14 goals and 10 assists plus having the all around game isn’t anything to be sniffed at. I think he is what we need on the flank opposite Sanchez (should he stay) and is everything we thought Ox could be but simply isn’t.

  36. Wavey,

    The new huge TV deal and other increased sponsorship money has made the whole of the football world become a parody of the horn of plenty or as you may know it, cornucopia.

    Those that have benefitted most have the main power, but those on the fringes have their own power too. You are correct in saying that Aulas/Lyon feel they do not have much to lose by playing hardball, and if clubs want their asset they are determined to get their share of the riches by one means or another.

    I rate Lacazette, but if I had to translate that into a monetary value, I have no way of working that out, as I will go thru my life on a tiny fraction of the sums involved in transfer fees. So, yes, it is easy to say ‘make it £100m monsieur, or maybe £200m and a pork pie’- but back here in the real world I cannot be assed about being a bystander at someone else’s party, but for the sake of a deal, I can say £44m sounds a lot, and £57m sounds too much more.

    I will have to leave that to wealthy people like you. 😀

  37. Bill,

    Yes there is a parallel between what was expected of Draxler, and Theo and also the Ox to a lesser extent. But the main differences in my mind was that Theo, in particular, was blighted with unseen problems to his thighs and shoulders – serious injuries for a professional footballer, and took him a long time to recover from what was major surgery. Ox too has suffered a lot from unexpected injuries that have ruled him our for long periods.

    Whereas Draxler has probably had his share of football injuries, but has not had to contend with really serious or genetic problems with his shoulders and thighs like Theo.

    But you are correct – time will tell – altho for Theo time is not on his side anymore.

  38. C:

    We have been watching the same thing for the last 10 years and Draxler’s and by far the best way to explain Draxler’s early great games with PSG is adrenaline fueled early over performance. It happens a lot more often then not and its almost a completely predictable scenario. As far as next year goes for the Drax, I predict of the the same as this season but time will tell. History certainly suggests that the odds are on my side with regard to these prediction.

    Regarding Lemar, If we stick with 3 at the back then Ozil is the forward playing opposite of Sanchez and there is no place for Lemar. Lemar’s stats and his age give some hope and I would be very happy if we took a chance on him. The price is certainly not outrageous. However, he would still be a speculative punt and not the sort of proven forward we should build our plans around.

  39. C

    When you see the same thing happen again and again and again then even if you don’t want to believe it you have to accept that it is a pattern and then once you establish that its a repeating pattern you have try to explain why it happens. The adrenaline fueled early over performance is the best explanation I can think of. Look what has happened with the early performances from Le Coq. After the 2015 season you said he was the bringer of balance and one of the final pieces to the puzzle and now you want to dump him.

  40. Bill,

    Adrenaline fueled, is hardly what I would call it but sure we will go with that. I will be interested to see how he gets off after a full pre-season with his new team, remember he joined PSG in January so he was learning on the fly. Actually mate, history isn’t on your side when it comes to quality players moving to a new team in January, having performances ranging from brilliant to ‘ordinary’ in his first half season then showing his talent the next season and moving forward. You keep talking about his start but are failing to remember he had great performances throughout the rest of the season but also had some really ‘ordinary’ performances by his talent’s standards.

    Lemar might not start immediately but he would be an upgrade on Ox if we go with a back 4 or an upgrade over any of the front 3 not named Ozil and Sanchez should we stick with the back 3, so in reality even if he doesn’t start, we are upgrading the squad which is he goal overall if I’m not mistaken. Speculative punt, I don’t think so but I know its just how you feel about players you haven’t heard much about and are either younger or inexperienced. The funny thing is that we have seen some experienced players flop, I mean look at some of the more recent established quality players that have flopped or floppedish when they have moved.

  41. Bill,

    Let me correct you on one thing when it comes to Le Coq, I said he brought balance but he was not the player that we needed and if you remember I said we should have dumped him or bought in a better player that summer. I don’t buy into this adrenaline fueled thing because if your quality, your quality and if your not then your not but over the course of time it will show. For instance, with Le Coq, there is a reason why he was all set to be sold or let go on a free because of his limits and well done to him for making a player of himself but his limits will always hold him back.

  42. If Arsene doesn’t want to spend the money on Lacazette, then why not chase some of the other quality Cf’s in Europe: Morata, Belotti, Aubameyang, Timo Werner, Jese; just to name a few.

  43. C,

    If the Lacazette deal is bing pushed off the table by Aulas, then I firmly believe that is no excuse for Arsene not pursuing another quality CF, as I said above.

    If Moratta goes to Manyoo then there may be a possibility of getting Martial from them – altho Maureen is just every bit as difficult to deal with as Aulas has been.

    I saw a part of the U21s England v Germany game and must say that Chambers looks very good in a pretty ordinary England team. Perhaps we should keep him too – though who knows what goes on in the minds of the Arsenal TWIT squad, as Yogi calls them [TWIT = The Transfer Window Inaction Team] 😀

  44. If we did get Lemar (but not Lacazette) we could well be the team that creates the most chances but fails to convert most of them. Perfectly in keeping with the perceived wisdom that Arsene does not value strikers and merely sees scoring goals as the last pass in a sequence of play. Getting the best possible CF surely must be our #1 priority and without that everything else is just window dressing.

  45. HenryB,

    That is the thing, this Lacazette and even MBappe chase feels a lot like Vardy last summer and if it goes that way then I fear what the atmosphere will be like if we start the season with Giroud and Welbeck. There are plenty of quality CF’s out there like the ones that I named but plenty of others.

    If Morata goes to Manure (REal President this morning said he hasn’t spoken to Mourinho nor has a bid come in and they are pretty transparent) but I can’t see him selling us Martial, hell if he wouldn’t loan Demba Ba, no way he is giving us Martial.

    I say keep Chambers, hell we will need him for the first 2 matches at least (Gabriel out injured, Kos stupidly suspended) but beyond that, I would actually advocate for keeping him and letting Holding go out on loan to say Everton so that he could play regularly. I’m with you, who the hell knows what goes on in their heads but whatever it is, they need to change it to do what is necessary for the good of the club and squad and not their wallets.

  46. Agree with both C and Andy.

    The window opened for transfers on the 9th June for English club transfers, but Yogi said the international date for the commencement of transfers opens on the 1st July.

    So that means I guess we have to wait a bit to see what transpires – I often say to others ‘don’t yell before you have been hit’ and I do not want to fall foul of my own admonition. 🙂

    My only reservation on the above is that Everton seem to be announcing ‘done deals’ for overseas players already, so maybe some deals have been arranged in advance — not that it ever seems to be us that applies to — oops — you will be calling me Andy-Mark2, if I am not careful. 🙂

  47. HenryB,

    Yea, its strange to think that other English clubs have gone on about their business with deals and yet Arsenal seem to have “stood still”. I am all for waiting and seeing what happens because there is still plenty of time left but the one thing is that as the window goes on players will move and prices will soar.

    I also think that there are other things that should be looked at like, if the club are waiting for Ozil and Sanchez, then why not do what is necessary to make additions because both have made it clear they want to win and lift silverware and irregardless of what people say, both players function best with a clinical striker to not only create for but play with. I mean the fact that Ozil was set to shatter the assist record before our CF’s went ice cold and then this past season even with Sanchez scoring 20 goals we finished outside the top 4 speaks volumes to our need for a CF.

    Everton look to have lost out on their CF as he has signed with Madrid according to Sky. I could see them getting him on loan but lets see what happens.

  48. Portugal: Rui Patrcio, Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte, Eliseu, Cedric Soares, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho, Andre Gomes, Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Ronaldo

    Chile: Bravo, Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel, Jean Beausejour, Mauricio Isla, Marcelo Diaz, Pablo Hernandez, Charles Aranguiz, Vidal, Sanchez, Vargas

  49. At the end of the season I made mention of Andre Silva before he moved to Milan. I think he is one CF that we should have bought.

  50. C,

    That 5:25 sums up my thinking exactly!

    On another serious matter;

    I have just been watching an interview on TV with Dwayne Marques a British Transport Policeman who put his life on the line when he defended people against 3 armed London Bridge attackers, when he was armed only with a baton.

    Fantastic man! He sadly lost his right eye to a stab from a knife, and still managed to save the lives of many people that night — top respect for a wonderful human being!!!!

    Superb.

  51. We as fans can crave new signings but the path to progress is more than just new or expensive signings…. Fresh talents arrive on the seen year after year, and we’ve had quite a few at Arsenal who didn’t hit the heights, just like many others that have been quoted here.

    There’s the call for a new CF….why, cos we need a new face or because we had issues with goals last season? Defending was our problem last season not goalscoring…. Finishing outside of the top four was not a goalscoring problem…. You can desire to sell Giroud but it doesn’t mean he’s the problem…. Arsenal had about 4 players in double digits for goals in all competitions last season…

    Preparing for a new season, especially during the transfer window is all about asking questions and providing the best possible answers …So many questions abound but here area few…
    Did we achieve our goals as a club?
    What are the performances like in the various competitions?
    What caused our failures in the Premier league and the Champions league?
    What are the areas of weaknesses?
    How do we move forward to ensure improvements?
    Which players or tactical decisions help is achieve the best of performances?
    Who can improve the team?

    I don’t think the club hierarchy are standing still or folding arms as some here are commenting…. And nobody has categorically come forward to say “hey, Arsene wakes up by 10”, “Ivan just laid on the beach all month long”….
    That your wishes have not been granted doesn’t mean the club workers are lazing around. Actually there’s the signing of Kolasinac… And off-field appointments with Famy and Burgess.

  52. This is definitely end to end stuff, both sides creating chances but different ways; Portugal through the middle, while Chile are playing through the flanks but with plenty of movement that Portugal are struggling to track.

  53. C

    The idea of turning Julian Draxler into a goal scoring forward just because he had the proper physique and had a lot of technical skill never made a lot of sense to me. Goal scoring is not really a skill that you can teach even for the players with the most technical skill and size. Goal scoring is the easily the single most important and most sought after and costly skill to obtain in professional football. If you could teach players like Draxler or Danny Welbeck or Benik Afobe to be good at it then every team would buy a boat load of guys with technical skill and build their own scorers. Think how much easier and less costly that would be compared with buying scorers on the open market.

  54. Bill,

    You can teach technique but you can’t teach composure and calm when the chances come and that is the biggest difference for me. You can teach a player to keep their knee over the ball, head down laces through…but you can’t teach the cool calm that is needed when thr chance arrives. Draxler has shown he can score goals but up to this point has played in sides that he works best on the flanks and I’m not saying its a lock for him to become that player nor was I purely advocating signing him for the CF position. For me I wanted him because he is an upgrade on what we have on the flanks and he is quality.

    Anyways, their is futbol on so we can discuss later.

  55. We often seen it said that a certain player “has goals in him”. Best examples are Welbeck, Ox, Ozil, Sanogo and we have even heard that said about Iwobe. The problem is that if a player such as Ozil only had to decide to be more aggressive and score more goals then he would have done that long ago. That would certainly help his team a lot more then anything else the player could possibly do. Which player in the history of world football would not like to score more goals and get more recognition, help his team and get paid more?

  56. C

    We have always had players like Iwobe who can give us technical skill and quality but the reason I was never a fan of buying Draxler is the thing we actually need is a wide forward who offers technically more then Theo but he has to able to score and Draxler has never shown that he can do that on any sort of regular basis. He may score an occasional great goal but he is not a scorer.

  57. Chile are being really patient and while Portugal are pressing, its more a or them sqeezing the pitch by moving their formation higher.

  58. Both teams look like they arr being overally patient.

    Portugal with a fantastic counter off a Sanchez give away and Ronaldo’s shot gets deflected for a corner.

  59. Very tactical game and with the early chances by both teams, think it madr biths sides back off a bit. Headed for extra time.

    Chile’s midfield players seem to never lose the ball.

  60. HenryB,

    If only 😁😁!

    £57m is allegedly the size of the fee ATM (lol) was willing to pay before their ban was upheld. £44m is allegedly the amount we have bid. Whilst the amounts are obscene, I can’t imagine why Lyon would take £13m less to trade this summer. If the club really has a sizable pot available this transfer window we have to pay the going rate for players and it is pretty much impossible to go bargain hunting at CF in these markets. I don’t see any problem signing a prospect on the cheap, but only if he comes as well as an established player, not instead of. Its almost impossible to put together a title winning squad on the cheap. Leicester was without a doubt the exception.

  61. Isla with a spot on cross to Sanchez who is FREE for a header and he heads it literally an inch wide.

  62. You see why Leverkrusen value Aránguiz as he has superb defensively in his DM role and dictates play and keeps things ticking.

  63. Fonte just got away with a foul that would have been a penalty for Chile. Not sure how VAR didn’t pick it up and give the penalty.

  64. This ref has really bottled it in extra time. Vidal is down off a LATE challenge from Gomes right infront of the benches.

  65. Vidal off the post and had the GK beat then Chile off the rebound reaction off the crossbar in the 119′. Sanchez gets free in the box and Fonte with a last ditch slide tackle.

    Portugal has gotten away with 3 or 4 nasty challenges in the 2nd half of extra time.

  66. Chile wins 3-0 on penalties as Bravo saves ALL 3 from Portugal and ronaldo didn’t take any of them.

    Ian Wright said Bravo was shit and couldn’t save anything, o he is eating crow right now.

  67. Sky reporting we have had a bid for Lacazette and Lemar both rejected. Lyon want something closer to the 50m +15m in incentives for Lacazette and Monaco don’t want to sell Lemar but 30m isn’t enough.

  68. C,

    Both Lying and Monaco should keep their players…. We either come back, look elsewhere or look inward…. That’s if the story is true anyway.
    “Arsenal fail on Lacazette and Lemar”… That’s the title on Sky….. Anything to discredit the club…

  69. “Anything to discredit the club”
    No help needed there, the club are masters at failed bids.

  70. Oludotun,

    How are they discrediting the club? If Arsenal bid 50m for Lacazette and before their ban was upheld Athletico had a deal in place for up to 65m including incentives and what not, then the bid makes little sense. Inward, well we don’t have a CF at Arsenal and as much as I like and think Welbeck can come good, his injury record and us waiting means we need to purchase. I’m sorry but Ox has had his chances and while he is explosive, he has no end product.

    I am all for youth and promoting from within but we need a CF plain and simple and I think even Arsene knows it with his chases of Benzema, Suarez, Higuain, Lacazette and Vardy over the past couple of summers plus the others we have been linked with and surely others we have inquired about that we don’t know about.

  71. C,

    BBC also have the story now. They aren’t just referencing the Sky story, so I’d say it’s true. They do say that negotiations are ongoing for Lacazette, but that Monaco have no interest in selling their player.

  72. Anything related to Mbappe is simply stock cover for Wenger to meander through the transfer window in default mode.

    I am sure there has been contact with Mbappe (reps and family etc.) but presume this no different than any major European club. I would not compare it to the Benzema bs that was allowed to fester an entire window (until Benzema debunked it). However, I seriously doubt there has been any Arsenal bid made and taken seriously by Monaco.

    In the interim (with idiot advocates such as Pires) I presume Wenger thinks it keeps him in the big leagues credibility wise.

    The problem then becomes (as above) default mode. Many of us seem to be on a similar page – there is an opportunity here to revamp the squad, to make some meaningful changes. In fact what bugs is you look at the possibility of various sales and astute moves (let’s start with 45m for Sanchez and moving a couple of higher profile players such as Giroud and Walcott) and you could foresee we could even go through this window with a net zero spend.

    If additionally we made sensible fee demands for the likes of Gibbs (etc.), It’s not inconceivable we could come out in better financial health, lowering our wage bill in the process.

    Now Wenger has extended, you’d think everyone at the club (I mean owner on down) understood the need to up their game and reward the entire fan base with an impressive (can I say clever, surprising?) transfer window. Up until this point, there is little to indicate the dial has moved.

  73. Wavey,

    Yea, I saw it meaning a deal with Lacazette can still be done and clearly he is a target. At this point, Monaco have no need to sell after selling Bernardo and possibly Bakayako. Its not like they need the money.

  74. I suspect if we followed the blog of every other club we would find a segment of the fan base of every club in history that believes the media and the refs are against them and out to get them. However, I have been following sports all my life and there is not much doubt that the persecution complex of some Arsenal fans like Oludoton is more highly developed then anything I have ever seen.

    Sky sports is going to write the most sensational sounding headline that will generate the most internet hits no matter which club they talk about. There is no reason to think Sky Sports would have a specific agenda to target Arsenal.

  75. It all feels far too quiet and far too familiar for me

    It doesn’t feel like there is a plan again. It feels like we know Lacazette is open to a move, we’re low balling the offer so that if it somehow comes off, someone can feel like they got a deal and beat the market

    It feels like we’re wasting time again on one target and not acting in a manner that would quickly and concisely get the business done and move on. Quite frankly, one way or the other. We could match the ATM offer and see if it sticks with Lyon and player. If not, you know the preference is not us

    I can see this dragging out all window, Lyon don’t need to rush, and being left at the end with scraps again. We can say we were after Lacazette and Mbappe. It just “couldn’t” get the deals over the line and absolve ourselves of blame. Mugs!

    Quite frankly, if the cost to get a proper CF in early and bedded into the squad is £15 – £20m more than what we think is market rate, I say pay it. It’s the one thing that potentially would singled handedly get us back into UCL and would therefore pay for itself twice over

    The further worry is that everything else is quiet. Appreciate that if there is a list of targets to work down (seriously doubt it) that we won’t potentially know what’s next until this one is dead. But shouldn’t we work on two or three or four at once and then focus on the one we like most with the most traction?

    I think we should and I don’t think we have done previously and don’t think we are now

    Not much noise on anyone going out, except Gibbs who we’ve already replaced. Giroud maybe but that depends on who we get in. We have form for selling before we buy. Someone clearly likes the wage. I’ll being trimmed back at the start of the window and only brought up to full operating level on the final day of the window. Despite that being after three (this year three fairly tricky) league games.

    I’d say we’ve less than a fortnight to know how this window is going to pan out. As the many before or something different. Seeing as it takes us about ten days to fire up the old galloppy the transfer team ride around in, I’m not too confident. Again. Really hope I’m wrong but can’t see it being different to the other disaster windows now

  76. Bill,

    No complex here….just a response.

    Have you seen the reportage of the same bid story on BBC? It even provided info on the negotiations.

    I imagine the headlines if Arsenal had been the team accused of tapping up like Liverpool in the case of Van Dijk…

    Teams always have bids rejected for player transfer….so, its nothing new but it must be painted to whip up sentiments in the fanbase that the club is not working. Just give the fans something to worry about – it’ll dominate trends on blogettas.

    The ride on sensational titles that mislead, presenting a different notion is the real matter…

  77. Damon,

    A well reasoned expression of your concerns that there is a sense of déjà vu over the transfer market rumours alleging bids have been made, bids rejected and so on. Same, same.

    In addition there are more worrying rumours about our players going out – you mentioned Gibbs, but there is also the chance that both Sanchez and Özil will go, and clubs are sniffing around Bellerin, the Ox and Giro.

    Now it is possible that some might be happy that some if not all of them should go — but I would want other players in first. Not that it seems to work that way with Arsenal.

    Just to balance it a bit, Real Madrid have said that they have not bid for Mbappe, and neither have they received offers for any of their players — and so it goes on because the same rumour mongers are responsible for these stories too. It is incredibly frustrating for all us fans.

    Incidentally — there is another rumour this morning that both Barça and Chelsea are now after Lemar — again its probably the same crap merchants trying to get ‘hits’.

  78. Damon,

    Not that I read any of these rumours ——- obviously. 😀

    And I forgot to add Ospina to the list above of those players allegedly leaving Arsenal – and if Gabriel was fit he too would be on the list, and not to mention that Per has said he is likely to retire.

    Oh, lucky us!

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