Alexis To PSG? You’re Having A…£70m? OK, Here’s His Pet Passports

“I have never been to Paris; I should like to go there before we return to London with the dogs.”
“Yes, the summer there is beautiful. I will book us a hotel room.”
“Oh, Alexis, it will be wunnerful. What could possibly go wrong?”
“I wuv you, snookums.”

A coquettish giggle finished the conversation. And that my friends, courtesy of the KGB, is the text of the conversation which led to the Chilean being in Paris right now. That the PSG offices are being redecorated and they have temporarily moved into a floor of the same hotel is entirely coincidental. As is the annual Arsenal Transfer Window Action Team departmental review weekend taking place at the same time in the same hotel.

It’s not hard to see why that confluence of events led to premature speculation in this morning’s papers about a £70m bid being prepared by PSG for the Chilean striker. Hiding behind their “senior sources in Paris” routine, claims that he can only be in Paris to meet the club are ludicrous. I bet he’s glad he changed his mind about a late Club 18 – 30 break in Ayia Napa. Broken-hearted Athlitikos Omilos fans may beg to differ on that one.

Noticeably, as the resolve in Arsène’s voice when he claims that the striker will see out his contract deepens, the price in the back pages increases. Sanchez started the summer as a £40m steal; now the club’s negotiating stance has surfaced, his value rose to £50m, skipping £60m before heading into a market-driven price of £70m. If Barcelona put the €80m bid together for Coutinho, Alexis’ price will rise to £80m because he’s a striker and all that.

It must be galling for Arsène. PSG are his mates; surely they wouldn’t disrespect him by tapping up an Arsenal player…

These boots are made for walking and this story has legs

Alexis is off to PSG. £70m.”
“Really? Who said that?”
“Crossy’s apprentice.”
“Must be true. Crossy wouldn’t allow crap about Arsenal to be printed. He’s one of us.”

Let’s assume for one minute that there is substance to this story and PSG offer Arsenal £70m for the player. We’re into the realms of supporters telling Arsène to accept the bid and take the cash. I don’t think at that level and given the club involved isn’t a Premier League rival, Wenger or the board can say “No”.

Doing so doesn’t mean his view that the player was seeing out his contract was wrong. Situations change and frankly, telling the world we were selling meant the fee would end up at £2.50 and a half-eaten packet of Pickled Onion flavour Monster Munch. Yes, it’s “flavour”, you irritating bloody spell checking software.

Who would have thought that Neymar was Alexis’ stalking horse? Neymar and Alexis in the same team; which one plays out of position…

And therein is why the story has Machiavellian hands at play. Team Alexis want out of Arsenal; I’ve no doubt PSG want him in, particularly since Real agreeing a €120m fee for Mbappe. However, PSG want anyone in at present; they need to show they are serious about winning the Champions League.

They also need, as was suggested on social media, a face for the 2022 World Cup. Neymar is the future, Alexis the now. One’s an Olympic gold medalist, the other twice Copa America winner. All they need is World Cup winner and double European champion playing football in Qatar. Someone like Xavi; maybe they can entice him to Doha…

Meanwhile, back in reality…

We’ll walk right over you

Chelsea this afternoon in another of those friendlies which are just like a cup final. I wonder if Petr Cech will be so reluctant to celebrate today if Arsenal win? Probably…not.

The match will no doubt continue the mass change on the hour mark so that the result is rendered utterly meaningless ahead of the meaningful Community Shield clash in a fortnight’s time. Now, about that not celebrating thing, Petr…

Only a thrashing would dampen the view that the tour hasn’t been a success. While some will read too much into the results, the suits will look only at brand awareness, new partners, etc., and judge the tour by that. Everything PR-wise appears to be positive, with Arsenal now the benchmark for Australian visits. Not for the matches, just because they took notice of the fans; Liverpool didn’t. They just noticed the hubcaps were too big for British cars.

I’m sure match reports and headlines will talk of cup final revenge, etc., but the only output Arsène is interested in is the fitness of the squad. Once they get back to England, the serious work begins. Less than three weeks until Leicester City pitch up at the Emirates on the opening night of the season. Three weeks to get us ready and prepared; there’s no reason for Arsenal not to be so. The first priority of this season is to avoid a humiliating home defeat, which recent years have shown is by no means certain. Get that right and we can ‘relax’ to some extent. As if.

Finally, a new playlist will appear on Dad’s Jukebox today. You can still catch A Taste Of Summer here.

’til Tomorrow

37 thoughts on “Alexis To PSG? You’re Having A…£70m? OK, Here’s His Pet Passports

  1. Someone posted on yesterday’s piece that Sanchez is on £350,000 a week and that we should all chill the fuck out? Google says he is on £140,000 a week? Please someone, how much is Alexis currently on?

  2. Good morning folks, at last I’m able to access the website. I thought for a while it had shut down, but here we are back again.

  3. Chelsea 3 – 0 Arsenal: What an absolute fucking shambles! A defence in which no one appeared to know the meaning of the word. A midfield that continually gave the ball away. And a non existent forward line.

    To cap it all Wenger decides to bring on a substitute who was not named on the team sheet.

    Total farce!

  4. Orson Kaert,

    Yup, we were appalling. Chelsea’s first pre-season run out btw. Maitland-Niles had a total ‘mare but what’s he doing in a back three FFS?? Thought that the Ox was pretty bad too. Only Ramsey had a decent game, the rest were poor (okay, Giroud excepted maybe). Ospina should have saved the third.

    Wenger blamed tiredness, probably a factor to be fair but we were disorganised and didn’t seem motivated too. Hoping to see more of Kolasinac because on yesterday’s performance he looked like another Santos 😨

    The Charity Shield will hopefully be a better indicator, but we need to do much, much better if we’re going to feature right at the top of the table this season.

  5. Morning,

    Not sure what happened to the site yesterday. When it finally came back on the latest post was from March. V strange.

    Yesterday’s match was a bit of a clusterf*ck really. It may have been a friendly, but you would think that the players would be up for a match against Chelsea and our lads patently were not. The one major concern was that the midfield pairing for the first half is completely ineffectual and it seems to be the pairing Wenger prefers. I’m sorry, but Ramsey and Xhaka is just not a partnership that work in any shape or form. Neither player is able to bring the ball forward and Ramsey spends most of his time too far up the field. Chelsea were able to walk through the midfield like it wasn’t there, mainly because it wasn’t. On ITV after the match Kevin Campbell was talking about the spine of the team and warbled on about needing a CB whilst seeming to forget that Mustafi wasn’t playing yesterday. I think we are probably OK in defence, but the midfield unit in front of our back line needs a proper upgrade. It was interesting that LeCoq came on and improved our midfield performance just by playing more in their faces.

  6. andy1886,

    Tiredness eh! Who’s idea was it to travel to Australia and then on to China. Playing football in Shanghai and Beijing at this time of year is lunacy.

  7. andy1886,

    The starting eleven in the Emirates Cup is usually a good indicator for Wenger’s preferred group. I haven’t a clue what that is this summer.

    Interesting that you thought Ramsey did well. I just don’t feel he does what he’s meant to. We don’t have the luxury to let Ramsey play where he feels like, especially with Ozil in the team. We needed Ramsey to be the box to box midfielder and its a role that he is incapable of fulfilling. If Ozil is meant to be our precocious talent then Ramsey has to be disciplined for them both to be on the pitch at the same time. Ramsey doesn’t do disciplined.

  8. Hilarious. Liverpool’s friendly with Hertha Berlin is back on after U2 paid a considerable sum towards repairing the pitch following their concert. Isn’t the point of allowing a rock band to play at your stadium to make money? So were they going to be out of pocket if U2 hadn’t chipped in on the pitch repair? Was Hertha Berlin going to cancel the match if U2 hadn’t paid up and would they have gone into the season with a damaged pitch? Did they look at the pitch after the concert and go, “Oh no, what are we going to do, Liverpool are coming next week. We’ll have to cancel.” What an absolutely pointless story. Well done BBC.

  9. Wavey,

    I thought that Ramsey was the only one showing any threat tbh. I agree Ramsey and Ozil doesn’t work or at least leaves too much work for the rest of the midfield but IMO Ramsey at least was direct and had a couple of chances and some good runs a la Lampard. Ozil made one good pass but did little else.

  10. Yeah, all I can say is it is good the website was down because I was really, really ticked off after the game.

    The first game in Australia was good, the second felt a little wayward. The game against BM in China was okay but the result masked the fact that we did not look cohesive.

    Before the Chelsea game, read some interviews and there was Koscielny urging the team to keep the pre-season focus…”we want to win because it gives you the confidence you need to play with freedom”.

    I thought, good – we’ve had way too teenagers running around trying to Bobby Dazzle it and appear fairly aimless in a tactical sense. Time for a really structured game against Chelsea who I presume will take the field with some intent.

    Holy crap.

    I know its pre-season, a friendly and it’s all to easy to question if it’s significant. Well I think yes, its all bloody important, and wins do boost moral.

    It looked like boys against men.

    I was back at my dark place – those early game moments where minutes in, you can already sense no one is on the same page, no one has clue – and wonder if has anyone received anything approximating a tactic? It was bad to the point of dispiriting.

    We have a couple of Emirates Cup games to sort ourselves out. Can we begin with deploying players we think will feature in regular games? I think I’ve seen more than enough of the teenagers and Mertesaker getting kippered for now… and whilst we are at it, how about a game plan?

  11. After the game yesterday I was gripped by a strange and almost overpowering desire to rename myself Andy1887 — as it happened the gremlins were revolting and launched a coup against Yogi and taking down the blog site, and the feeling passed. Andy 1886 reigns supreme. 🙂

    There is no hiding the fact that from a fan’s perspective that was painful.
    It was not a ‘competition’ so much as a money making showpiece for the promoters and a way of giving fans in far off places a chance to see their heroes, while the main purpose of all pre-season games is to build fitness and shake out the cobwebs.

    Losing to the Chavs was not what we would ever want – and it damned well hurt.

    A point of mitigation was that the defence we put out is never likely to play together again, and it was a wake up call to the youngsters that there are big bad teams out there who will smash you if you do not play to the best of your ability.

    It’s history – on to the next round of games – and hopefully the management will realise that we need to address the CB and DM roles as we seem thin there despite thinking of letting Calum go.
    What is that about?

    [You can come out now, Yogi, those naughty Gremlins have buggered off.] 😀

  12. andy1886,

    Ramsey is a symptom of Wenger’s laissez faire approach to tactics. He’s allowed to roam around the pitch doing his own thing and ignoring his defensive duties. While he does get into advanced positions his attempts at actually putting away the goal scoring opportunities that fall to him are usually pretty hopeless. In yesterday’s game the two chances that he spurned being prime examples.

  13. Orson Kaert,

    Totally with you on that. We can all think of games where Ramsey has looked the most dangerous player in the team, but actually achieved bugger all. If he wants to play in the roaming forward role he needs to actually convert some of the numerous chances that come to him. It actually means that we should have a better player getting into those positions. Ramsey is meant to be part of the midfield core and can only be neglecting his duties if he is doing something meaningful further up the pitch and most of the time he just looks really good doing very little.

  14. Wavey,

    Morning Wavey.I did not see the Game yesterday. I am nor surprised by your comment with regard to the midfield. I have been stating the same thing Ramsey and Xhakia DO not work as a combination. It is lunacy and sheer stupidity on the part of AW to think so.

    Failure to bring in a CDM player is going to be very very costly this season. It is clear that upgrades call it whatever are needed.

  15. Goodly morning

    Could of been six, was apparent after the first 15 we couldn’t be arsed. What surprised me a first and brought back silly memories of selection was the inclusion of bramall over Nelson. Just to clarifiy, Nelson > bramall.
    Turned off after the second went in and hoped the van dijk rumours were true.
    Then tried to work out who could play b2b goin by who had the ability to actually control a pass and retain it under pressure.
    The wiz and iwobe. Been hella impressed wit Alex so far, seems to take more responsibility. Forces the issue and has added a bit of strength? If he develops a tackling nature he’d be ideal at cm.

  16. Agreed, Aaron still tryin to be Rambo. I thought he played well, at least looked like a competent footballer. But time and again it’s becoming clear that the basics are below Sir Rambo, master of the universe and heir to messi’ throne. If he kept it simple, played more d and realised his super power is not over elaboration but stamina he’d be a hell of a player.

    If only everyone’s father stopped Mollycoddling.

  17. I guessed it wouldn’t take long in the pre-season for the doom and gloom merchants to emerge with moans after Arsenal’s sole losing performance. They were of course noticeably quiet after our earlier games in OZ. I wonder why.
    And as for our trip to China, it’s about time they realised that football is Big Business now and when the accountants vote for PR in the Far East, Arsene Wenger’s choice of southern Germany falls by the wayside. 😉

  18. oh, and a special shout out to Dave…
    You utter numpty.

    We’ve got a keeper who can’t save pens or distribute. One that isn’t trusted and a short arse who will punch your face off in a pre season friendly. So amateur it was embarrassing.

    Meanwhile at the ole lady…..

  19. Lol, ask Pedro about doom and gloom for a better idea of what that phrase actually means.😉

    I have one “positive”….Alexis for 70. I’d bite psg’ hands off so fast the arms would come off at the socket.

  20. Wavey,

    Thing is we know that he CAN do it, just not consistently. Last season’s Cup Final a case in point. But I think that it’s a choice between using him in the Lampard role or playing with an Ozil type #10. Playing both makes us lightweight in midfield. Personally I’m not a fan of the creative #10 that doesn’t score much or contribute defensively, it’s too much of a luxury in the PL.

  21. I wonder at what point ganes are important for some people:

    It’s only the Emirates Cup
    It’s only the Community Shield
    It’s only the League Cup
    It’s only the Europa League

    The games in Oz against local teams were a marketing exercise and couldn’t really even considered to be much more than a training exercise. The games against Bayern and Chelsea may not count towards anything, but they were against meaningful opposition and therefore should maybe be taken more seriously by the players. Since the teams are all in pre-season training mode its not realistic to just claim the team are just getting up to speed. So either the players didn’t take the games seriously, or were outclassed. Not good either way.

  22. Regarding Ramsey –

    He’s just another player who we are still waiting to come good.

    If players are asked who’s the most skillful squad player, they will invariably name Santi Cazorla.
    Consider the fact we still can’t work out Ramsey’s ‘best position’ then bear in mind he has spent 5 years around Cazorla who’s played forward as a number ten and deeper as a midfield play maker.

    Could there have been a more perfect mentor for Ramsey than Cazorla?

    It would not appear as though Ramsey has absorbed much if any of Santi’s game or vision – that says it all.

  23. Wavey,

    Conte obviously thought as much and underlined how pleased he was with the teams performance as he could now gleen where the team stood in terms of fitness and preparation.

  24. ras,

    As stated on the commentary yesterday, Xhaka either doesn’t want to make a tackle or is crap at it when he does. The issue really is that Wenger wants someone good on the ball plus an attacking MF in the middle of the park and tackling is a secondary requirement where he throws in Le Coq into the mix when he has to. It doesn’t work.

  25. DFS-,

    I think that we know where Ramsey would work best, as he does internationally. With Ozil in the team he’s never going to to play there. He’s a more dynamic player than Santi who as you will recall was also moved further back to accommodate Ozil and subsequently had to modify the way he played to fit into our system.

  26. Wavey,

    Which begs the question as to why Wenger made such a big deal of the game claiming that these matches are never really friendlies. If he knew we were fatigued (and if he didn’t I’d have to ask why) then he should have been playing down the match and damping down expectations.

    From a commercial perspective you have to ask how many of those Arsenal shirt wearing supporters in Beijing and across the wider TV audience in Asia may now switch allegiance based on such a poor showing. This ultimately defeats the object of selling your brand on the international stage. No point in playing there if you’re not going to give the local fans a good show.

  27. I have always thought the problem with our midfield defense is more about Xhaka then Ramsey. The name of the position Xhaka plays is defensive mid and that implies that his first responsibility and his mindset should be defensive. However, the part of his game that stands out and the reason Arsene spent so much money for him is his ability to make a long pass. He has not be a great defensive player. The team plays its best when it has a more dynamic player and like Cazorla or Ramsey in the box to box role but we would be better served to have a true defensive minded player who was good at defending as the deepest midfielder. I think are always going to go thru periods where we struggle defensively if our deepest midfield is not a very good defender.

  28. The 4 at the back formation with 3 central midfielders is not going to work well because neither Ozil or Xhaka are very good defenders and you are going to struggle when 2/3 of your central midfield do not defend very well. Playing Ozil as a forward hides his defensive liabilities and having 4 across the midfield works better from a defensive standpoint. I think that is why Arsene said that 3 at the back is a defensive formation.

  29. Exactly this. Rambo and Ozil don’t work in the same eleven. Completely different players but they just don’t work together

    Regulars know I think Izil is great but a luxury. I wait to see how potent he becomes with Lacazette up top. If that scenario even comes to fruition

    andy1886:
    Wavey,

    Thing is we know that he CAN do it, just not consistently. Last season’s Cup Final a case in point. But I think that it’s a choice between using him in the Lampard role or playing with an Ozil type #10. Playing both makes us lightweight in midfield. Personally I’m not a fan of the creative #10 that doesn’t score much or contribute defensively, it’s too much of a luxury in the PL.

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