On Leicester, Alexis, Old Habits and Transfer Gossip

The morning after the night before. The night in question where much-needed rains fell across the land and continued to do so until around an hour ago. !Hola, Señor Sol¡

During which time Arsène met the press and announced Alexis’ injury. This just hours after Martin Keown declared the Chilean should see out his contract with “dignity”; it’s going to be a long season. Last week, I offered the view that Alexis shouldn’t play against Chelsea or be involved in the Leicester match. This stomach strain keeps him out of the trip to Stoke as well.

Despite enthusiastic energy and an obvious love of football, it’s not doing him any good rushing back. We saw against West Ham a couple of seasons ago how ineffective an unfit Alexis is. I believe fitness-wise, we are in better shape than previous seasons but there’s still another 36 hours to kick-off; plenty of time for that to go tits up.

The same would normally apply to Shkodran Mustafi but I suspect the concern about Per Mertesacker’s head injury is such that his compatriot will be on the bench at least. While the situation with the centre backs is reminiscent to the opening day of last season, I don’t feel as concerned by the options as then. Rob Holding’s progress continues to impress and a good season will put him on the fringes of the England squad for next summer’s World Cup. Surely.

More immediately though, we know Holding and Monreal will be two of the three centre backs. I’m guessing Mustafi will be third, although Kolasinac may get the nod. There won’t be a recurrence of the Elneny experiment with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil both absent. The Egyptian’s partnership with Granit Xhaka on Sunday is one worth repeating against Leicester.

Old Habits Die Hard

The Standard’s James Olley ran an interesting piece on Mario Lemina. The Juventus midfielder scored well on our “matrix” and was favoured by some of the scouts. The theme of the article is Wenger reasserting his authority over the transfer policy and there’s very much a ‘back to the future’ element theme.

Wenger blocked bids for Lemina, targeting other areas of the team. An indication of a new pragmatism or a show of strength, asserting his newly-rediscovered powerbase? In this instance, thankfully so. It raises questions about the “matrix” and its’ purpose. Lemina, it declared, would be a good squad player. To my mind, we don’t need squad players at the moment; we have enough already. And if we’re adding more talent to the XI, then some have to drop down a level and become squad players.

Arsène commented that the situation we face isn’t by any means unique. Fellow Premier League managers at yesterday’s soiree had the same problem of being unable to shift players on. That might explain why the likes of Gibbs and Jenkinson are still at the club; that and their high wages.

It seems unlikely that anyone else is leaving just yet. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is reportedly the subject of a £25m bid which I’d hope the club would play with a straight bat just on value alone before they hit it out of the ground because it’s come from Chelsea.

If we’re playing hardball with Alexis, we should do the same with others; the same principle applies. Olley remarks that some of the board were keen to sell the Chilean if a £50m+ bid was received; easy to say when you know it isn’t happening.

Transfer Rumours and Small Talk

Arsène killed the talk of PSG, claiming that he hadn’t spoken to the chairman in a while and that he also read the French media declaring that the Parisiens wanted Kylain Mbappe and that was the end of their transfer window. Sort of like us selling Alexis to City.

That gives Barcelona a free run at Philippe Coutinho and they cheated by catching a flight instead. Straight into a meeting with Liverpool which more or less quashed tales of their interest in Mesut Özil.

As for Arsenal, we’re still “active in the market” but no closer to signing anyone or shifting anyone off the books permanently.

Which is all the Arsenal stuff for today. There’s a new Record of the Week on Dad’s Jukebox for all you hip cats and groovy f*ckers, to quote Jools Holland.

’til Tomorrow.

63 thoughts on “On Leicester, Alexis, Old Habits and Transfer Gossip

  1. Good stuff Yogi!

    Sanchez having an injury, well I agree with you Yogi, I didn’t think he should of started in the first match but I would have him at least on the bench; now he is out. I’m not sure how I feel about it all because there have been articles I have read about Sanchez at some point going to break down with the amount of matches that he has not only played for club but for country with no summers off and the way he trains and plays yet part of this has a feeling of Cesc. I guess I’ll still believe he will see out his contract so it really is an injury.

    For Leicester, I would go with Xhaka and Elneny not just because it was effective and with Leicester liking to press Elneny just makes the most sense, but also because if Ramsey does have any niggle or knock, then playing him will lead to him being out for months.

    I know some will question why we would have even wanted Lemina but look at the players that he was backing up: Pjanic and Khederia, most players would sit behind those two especially since Khederia has regained his Madrid form now that he is fully fit again and Pjanic is one of the best midfielders in Europe. With that though, I still don’t see Arsene moving for any player as long as we have Jenks, Gibbs, Debuchy, Jack and Le Coq on the books.

  2. I’m in mixed emotions for this season. Good performances in pre-season and did very well against Chelsea, but then, they never really pressed us which is always our achilles heel. Whenever teams employ a high pressure approach, we usually crumble, Chelsea never did this so it’s not really a good indicator.

    No Ozil for first game, Sanchez now has an abdominal problem that will keep him out until September (funny that, some might say he is trying to avoid an injury instead of having one). Ramsey once again injured, just seems like same old…Missing key players for start of season, they’ll come back as other players around them succumb to injuries as well and our threadbare squad has to try and rescue 4th.

    Only saving grace is other teams around has haven’t really blown me away in transfer market either. I still think we’re 3 players away from being title contenders. CB, CM and CF. Imagine what we’d do to the league with a Van Dijk type in defence, a difference maker CM in the mould of a Pjanic pulling the strings and Benzema up top with Lacezette and Sanchez beside him.

    Now or never, sell Theo, Ox and Ramsey (offer them to everton ;), if Siggurdsson is worth £35mill, Ramsey must be close to £50m to them HA) and buy in better players who aren’t just squad fillers who are injured 40% of a season, play blinders for 20% and are average for the remaining 40%

  3. Wenger has left himself up the creek without a paddle as far as Alexis is concerned. The number of times that he has stated that the player is not leaving this summer has reached way beyond that possibility.

    Should some club come in with an impossible to refuse bid, and the club accept it, Wenger will lose what little credibility he has left.

  4. Orson Kaert,

    Not so much Wenger, it would appear the board wanted to sell Sanchez but Wenger insisted they didn’t, if they sanction a sale, then Wenger should for all intensive purposes walk out the door because he’ll take the flack of the decision NOT so much the board. I personally, think Wenger is right, keeping him is more beneficial, even if we do lose him on a free…He’ll be 29 when he leaves, he’s going to start losing his pace and ability to move constantly and pester defences soon and if he want’s a big club, he’s going to have to play a blinder of a season as well!

  5. Sanchez is a phenomenal player, don’t get me wrong….But i’d rather keep him for one more season in his prime and let him walk after if he wants too.

    I’m more worried about our midfield right now, Xhaka is brilliant, but not too sure on El Neny’s qualities. Really wish we had Santi back in his prime, a midfield with Santi, Xhaka and Ozil would be idea imo.

  6. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Maybe, – but only if Xhaka could learn to tackle!

    Look at the Invincibles. PV4 and Gilberto could tackle, so could Parlour and Freddy. Pires learned to make himself a nuisance. Compare that to now and we have Xhaka who clearly can’t, Ramsey who isn’t strong in the tackle, and Mesut who like Pires can hassle players but not much else. Le Coq likes a tackle but gives away to many FK’s (he’s not that great at it) and Elneny who does okay but again isn’t going to bother too many players physically either. Clearly although Santi likes to get stuck in he isn’t a physical player (and I doubt he’ll play even a handful of games for us before he retires).

    So IMO we need a real DM to do the dirty work, plus a replacement for Santi. Our midfield has too many players that are good at a lot of things but not truly great at any of them.

  7. I’m willing to believe this injury is treading water while a deal is done. I’d rather we keep him; I’ve been clear on that. But doing so always relied on AW having to manage a difficult situation and the club making signings to put together a winning team. By the time Alexis rejoined, We needed to have found a CM in addition to Lacazette and shifted on a large number of players to make that scenario have the best chance to work. It is now a rather unstable situation and going into the season with a ragged squad and numerous players important to the match day 11 and bench in the final year strikes me as a recipe for disaster when we have our usual November down turn, if not earlier.

    The situation might be salvaged if we managed to trim and add the CM before the end of the window and win a couple games without Ozil and Alexis, while keeping them for next season. we always seem to leave matters in a situation requiring everything to go right.

  8. andy1886,

    Agree. There is a real lack of defensive strength and physicality in the midfield described as ideal by MLF. Unfortunately, I think AW thinks that way as well.

  9. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Maybe its because he is playing at Swansea, but I actually think Sigurdsson offers more than Ramsey does on a more consistent basis while also staying fit. So if Swansea are holding out for 45m for Sigurdsson, I would actually offer Ramsey for whatever Everton’s best offer has been (which according to Sky has been 35-40m plus add-ons). I know I will be in the minority but its either Jack or Ramsey that has to go and neither is trusted to stay fit or be consistent.

    I am just making this based on what you have mentioned in your post.

  10. On Ox, I do think we may want to sell. I explained my thinking on the comments to yesterday’s post this morning. I won’t rehearse them now, but I don’t think the same principle applies. Some players are more intrinsically important to the team than others. Ox is valuable but not vital, so if he won’t sign without assurances of playing in the position he wants, we should get what we can and invest in a real area of weakness right now while we can, I feel.

  11. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I just can’t believe that Wenger did not get the board’s agreement before stating that the club would forego a possible £50 million plus fee for Sanchez and force him to stay until his contract runs out.

  12. Limestonegunner,

    That makes perfect sense to me, Oxlade-Chamberlain is a useful utility player but isn’t good enough to hold down a regular starting place anywhere in the team.

  13. I don’t like to question Sanchez’s desire but i suspect his commitment to the cause may subside substantially if he is made to see out his contract – especially if we are sitting in 3rd to 6th place for much of the season.
    The World Cup campaign with his country will become his main focus and avoiding injury and burn out will be his main goal. That lame twitter photo of him ‘sick’ with a scarf wrapped around his head confirmed it to me. He wants away and though his commitment has never wavered circumstances change when there is a WC on the horizon, your team is languishing mid-table, and you heart (or agent’s wishes) is elsewhere.
    Sell him. This is a pointless distraction. If Arsene’s contract was a distraction last year, this one will be this year… and Ozil’s.
    This is a team sport – we need players willing to fight hard to support each other. We seem to be assembling a HUGE and deep squad of quality players but not building a team of players that will do the small things needed to win matches.
    This team needs to shear itself of the want away players. However Arsene the economist doesn’t want to sell family jewels for less than market value….which will mean we will sink ourselves due to financial considerations…despite being a rich club. There were times we didn’t improve because we didn’t want to spend a few extra million….now we are becoming a bloated uncommitted squad because we won’t sell to lose a few million.
    Arsene no longer knows. While he can judge talent, he can’t create a team of players that want to fight for each other. Some of the players have team ethos but others seem to float in and out of the game…I’d sell the Ox too, as he has damaging defensive lapses. I think Giroud is going to be great because the situation he finds himself in means he hits the pitch motivated with something to prove. holding is motivated. Not too sure about Theo.
    Gibbs, Debuchy, Gabriel or Chambers need to be sold, if even at low fees, so we can build a team instead of a collection of players.

  14. Krychowiak of PSG is rumored to be on his way out so PSG can meet financial fair play. He may be available on a cheap….

  15. Benetiz has spoken about his interest in Perez and apparently Arsene told him he wants the cash upfront for the player when they spoke at the manager’s meeting. I’m not sure if it was Arsene trying to be funny or if he was being serious but I understand Arsenal wanting to recoup some of the money paid for him but I think if the best offers your getting for a player are between 12-15m and you want to trim your squad then why not take the money and re-invest as opposed to keeping a player that clearly wants to leave to play and Arsene doesn’t want to play. Benetiz said:

    “I said: ‘Listen, we have to talk.’ And he said: ‘Do you have some money?’ Obviously, we like good players, but it’s too soon to talk about that.”

  16. philmar,

    I might say he is the best in the PL at them bar none.

    I would take him but I would much rather we chase Rabiot and for that matter we mine as well see what PSG want for Lucas Moura who seems to be the odd man out with PSG have Draxler, Di Maria and Neymar.

  17. I see our old CB Kyle Bartley has signed a new 4 year deal at Swansea. Good for him making a career for himself.

  18. Great post Yogi

    Unfortunately, I would still be mildly surprised if Alexis is on our roster when the transfer window closes. Ozil has been invisible in more and more games and we already have a shortage of players who are capable of being difference makers and making a play when our short passing game gets bogged down. Sanchez has been the our most dynamic player and without players who are a bit unpredictable we are much easier to defend against because we fall back into our ball possession short passing mode.

  19. What about Nzonzi, he has handed in a transfer request and with earlier reports in the summer that Sevilla and Valencia are/were interested in Le Coq, what about a player plus cash exchange for the player? He reportedly has a buyout clause of somewhere between 36-40m but he would be quite a signing having developed BRILLIANTLY in La Liga, he knows the PL and while he isn’t a player that is all power and pace, he would be quite a signing. Though I do wonder if he is headed to Juve as they had made a bid (both clubs said as much early in the window) it was rejected.

  20. philmar,

    I agree that Giroud will be good in these circumstances. He needs competition, proving a point and rest to be in top form. He’ll get that this season.

  21. I think it would be a mistake to sell Ox. I don’t think he is going to be a central midfielder wherever he goes and there is no doubt that his best position is RWB. The guy is a beast and almost unplayable by most of LB’s when he is running down the flank with ball at his feet. We saw it in the second 1/2 of last season that he can make plays and we instantly become a more dangerous team that is much more unpredictable and difficult to defend when he is flying down the wing.

    Ox played well in the second half of last season and Bellerin was miserable. Based on that Ox should start the season as the RWB. IMO. Bellerin is not the sort of player who is so good that he is a guaranteed automatic starter

  22. I can’t see Ozil not playing against Leicester, yea Arsene said he has a niggle but I would imagine that he will start. Without Sanchez and with Ramsey injured I would start:

    Cech
    —-Holding—Mustafi—Nacho
    Bellerin—-Xhaka—Elneny—–Sead
    —–Ozil——-Lacazette—–Welbeck

    What will be interesting is to see who comes on first in the attacking positions. Will Arsene go with Theo who might not much in the build up but would fit well with Ozil and Lacazette because of his movement and finishing but also his ability to play quick 1-2’s to get around defenders or will Arsene go with Giroud who IF motivated can be a strong-ish presence and chip in goals or will Arsene go with Iwobi who seems to have continued his development based on pre-season and is looking more for goals though his finishing is still a continued work in progress.

  23. Lack of physical players has indeed always been an issue, but we’ve played games against City etc were we’ve bullied them. As a certified Strength and conditioning coach working with rugby and mma guys, i can tell you that being big physically doesn’t necessarily transition being strong, so i don’t think it’s a physicality issue i think it’s an aggression issue. When we’re under the cosh, we tend to have adopted the tactic of sit back and contain, there’s been games where defensive midfields were heavily pressed by Xhaka and Santi last season (before Santi’s injury) where we pressed and pressed against bigger players and won the ball back no problems. There’s a lot of teams who don’t have a classical big physical player in midfield and they’re still effective because there aggressive. Xhaka’s problem was that he was admittedly too aggressive at times but he was surrounded by players who stand a few yards off and try to contain. HUGE difference Kolas made when coming in, purely because constantly pressed and hassled their wingers and midfield.

    Our problem has always been lack of aggression in midfield, as i said, there’s been times where we’ve bullied Chelsea’s supposed solid midfield (3-0 at Emirates and cup final) without having the classical overly physical player.

  24. I think we should reward performance and Giroud deserves to start the season as our first forward off the bench in the role of impact sub. He certainly played well in that role last season

  25. Bill,

    Seems to flourish under scrutiny as it were, i think when he feels like he’s got a point to prove he’s at his most effective.

  26. Andy pointed out the lack of tackling midfielders in the Arsenal pigeon coup, and he is right.

    If the proposed pairing of Özil and Santi as wingmen for Xhaka came to pass we would have 3 tackle deficient players – and if Theo played, together with Rambo, and we then added on a makeshift Monreal at CB (and to be fair he has played better than I, for one, expected – tho’ he is not really a CB at all) and included a struggling Belli Button at RB, it is no surprise that we let in so many goals these days.

    What? Who said I am a pessimist? An objective realist, like Bill, am I. 🙂

    Well, I have found myself agreeing a lot with Andy lately — he must be getting to me – so I am going to wear a foil hat with knitting needle antennae to fend him off!! 😀

  27. philmar,

    Agreed on Alexis. Despite his passion for the game he’ll be distracted (& a distraction) if he’s made to stay.

    We should put Pep’s nuts in a vice & squeeze £60M from City then invest in some committed , talented & ambitious replacements.

  28. If we reward performance then based on last season Ox should start as our RWB. I think we could be a much more exciting and dynamic team that is less likely to end up playing tippy tappy if we have Ox at RWB and Kolasanic at LWB.

  29. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I COMPLETELY agree with you about physicality not being done to big physical players. I mean take a look at some of the best DM’s/CM’s in world futbol not only in modern times but throughout futbol and some of the best weren’t big physical players but they were aggressive and knew how to hurry and harass. I mean in modern times you have players like Xabi, Busquets, Kante, Makele, Gilberto Silva (yes he was tall but wasn’t all big and physical but brilliant none the less) just to name a few who weren’t big and physical but were aggressive and knew how to win the ball back. You mention Santi who is quite the opposite of both big and physical but constantly looks to press, hell even Sanchez; its more about being aggressive. Its part of the reason why I prefer Elneny in midfield as that is something that he does every min he is on the pitch (don’t want to get into the debate because there is still time in the window) but then you can also look at players like Matuidi, Pjanic, Gueye (who I really rate and was arguably the best in the PL last season) Seri or even Tolisso (Arsene should have signed him but Bayern got him and he will be brilliant) all of them know how to close space and nick the ball.

  30. Hi Bill,

    You are so generous with your bountiful rewards — “we should reward performance and Giroud deserves to start the season as our first forward off the bench” – that brought a tear to my eye.

    I once applied for a job as a Wichita Lineman, and they told me the next time they had a vacancy, I would be the first in line to get a call. I am still waiting – but I am proud they recognised my suitability and were prepared to reward me just for being me.

    Bet Giro would be so thrilled to learn he was a highly regarded second string bench man. 😀

  31. C,

    Exactly, Sanchez isn’t a big physical player but how many times did he pester midfielders and defenders into mistakes an won ball back etc. Problem will always be aggression, we’re far to lightweight mentally sometimes and when under pressure heads go down and we try sit back to contain rather than pressing from the get go.

  32. Bill,

    Problem with that is you would then have to count on Holding essentially defending the whole right flank because Ox defensively leaves ALOT to be desired and the way that we play the 343 which is similar to Chelsea is that the WB’s have to defend because the front 3 don’t track back.

    I think it is down to what you like but Bellerin is a player that looks to get further up the pitch to, his problem like Ox is infront of goal which you wouldn’t expect your RB to be a great or even good finisher but you would expect a winger like Ox to be a good finisher. I do find it interesting that you say Iwobi shouldn’t feature as much because of his lack of goals but don’t think the same with Ox. Iwobi is a player that likes to carry the ball and isn’t a tippy tappy player as you say but is more effective in tight areas.

  33. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Exactly and I think last season showed the difference between when we play one way and when we play the other. At the start and end of the season we pressed teams and played quickly with movement and quick counters but when we had a bad match or two Arsene seemed to revert to more of a stagnaant line-up and strike force.

    More aggresive style suits more of our players and others aren’t capable of it. I won’t name names or whatever but style is clear.

  34. C

    Ox and Bellerin are the potential choices at RWB and neither of them are going to score goals so they are even in that regard. I am not sure how a comparison with Iwobe impacts the discussion since we are not considering him for the RWB position.

    I think we over rate Bellerin based on how excited we were about him after we first saw him. I would argue he has hit a plateau that is not as high as we had hoped and if we are honest he clearly regressed last season. We have seen that happen quite often over the years. That does not mean we give up on him but he does not deserve to be consider an automatic starter. I don’t see Bellerin’s defense as a huge upgrade over Ox, however, there is a very big difference with regard to which one can actually be a difference maker when they are playing as RWB.

    Henry:

    Giroud had 4 years but did not work out the way we had hoped as our starting CF and he was demoted last season but it turned out that he worked out quite well as our impact sub. It seems like a complete no brainer to use him in the position that is best for the team and if he won’t accept his demotion to the bench then he should be sold to the highest bidder. No?

  35. HenryB,

    Too late old chap, you’re firmly entrenched over here on the dark side 😉

    I will give AW credit for changing to three at the back late on though. I suspect that a lot of criticism is due to the fact that we almost never tried anything different which is extremely frustrating. If a coach at least gives new ideas a chance fans tend to understand by and large. What they don’t like is persistence with things that aren’t working on the off chance that one day by magic it might start working.

    Now if only we could some balance in midfield….

  36. Henry

    This is professional sports and not my grandson’s U12 league. The needs of the team come first and its not always going to be fair for every individual player, nor should it be. Big teams are supposed to filled with players who are regulars on their international teams and think they should play more minutes with their club. I would expect most of them to be unhappy if they are not getting as many minutes as they think they deserve.

  37. I sense some anxiety pervading ACLF from contributors, as well as the usual anti-Wenger sentiments and the season hasn’t even started. We already have new blood, the Far East tour went well, we won the Community Shield, we have a healthy war chest and the Summer Transfer Window is still open.
    We are still totally unaware of behind the scenes action with regard to future signings, although it is safe to assume that further attempts to strengthen the squad is in the pipeline.
    So some patience is needed, guys, together with 100% support for whoever wears the shirt. 😉

  38. Rumours abound at the moment that Mbappe is wanted/going to PSG.
    How the fuck could they afford that on top of Neymar?
    One of the less believable transfer tales of the summer.

  39. Any one else think Man U are going to be dangerous from set pieces?
    Lukaku, Fellani, Pogba, Matic, Jones. They got some beasts in that team.

  40. Nicky,

    My computer is playing up and did not display your comment clearly. Did you say:-

    “The season hasn’t even started yet and we already have new blood, the Far East tour went well, we won the Community Shield, we have a healthy war chest and the Summer Transfer Window is still open.
    We are still totally unaware of behind the scenes action with regard to future signings, although it is safe to assume that further attempts to strengthen the squad is in the pipeline.
    We all can agree to give 100% support for whoever wears the shirt.”

    Nothing wrong with that. 😋

  41. The money for Neymar and Mbappe is almost literally a drop in the bucket for a state owned club, Jonny.

    I am interested how they square the FFP rules — especially given they have previously already been ‘disciplined’ for breaking those rules. More ridiculous sponsorship from the same source, maybe?

    They will have enough problems with the Neymar deal — so I doubt (probably wrongly) that they will do the Mbappe deal. More likely he will go to one of the top two Spanish clubs.

  42. HenryB,

    They’ve found a way round it, or, they get a fine (which is easy for them to pay) or they get a transfer embargo, which given they’re current team is fine as they can probably still walk their league and do well in champs league.

    What would make the difference is if they get docked points AND banned from champs league, but, would never happen as the TV deals etc all want the biggest and best

  43. HenryB,

    Jonny,

    I do think it would be really difficult for them to do the Mbappe deal but there are also rumblings that I have seen where some of the players are up for sale or wanting to leave so don’t be surprised if you see quite a few players sold. I could see the likes of Moura (who I would take even over Lemar to be honest), Matuidi, Jese, Krychowiak and Aurier all sold in this window or the winter window and the Mbappe deal get done next summer with some sort of deal with Monaco put into place where he stays this year and they make him the splash signing of next year.

    There seems to be quite a growing trend in the French league about French teams wanting to sell players to other French leagues to try and build something like what you see in the Bundesliga and La Liga were the money is staying in France for some of their bigger players.

  44. That’s true, MLF.

    Not right tho — makes the FFP rule rubbish and UEFA/FIFA look even more ridiculous.

  45. I have never thought that FFP was ever meant to apply to the super rich clubs in reality, they can afford the fines, or find wriggle room in dodgy sponsorship deals and personal loans from owners, It is of course enforced on the less well off clubs in entirely different manner

  46. @Henry B,
    Your 8.31 thankfully confirms my disarming comment. Arsenal’s horizon as the beginning of a new campaign approaches, looks bright and deserves positive support which is the way all loyal followers of our great Club should adopt.
    Criticism is OK but surely not before the season even begins and while the Window is still wide open. 😉

  47. Dortmund want 130 million for Dembele! Hah. That means Alexis (with all of his experience) is looking cheaper and cheaper by the minute. Will the club say no to 60 – 80 million. I don’t believe it.

  48. nicky:
    @Henry B,
    Your 8.31 thankfully confirms my disarming comment.
    src=”https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.3/svg/1f609.svg” scale=”0″>

    Hi Nicky, and good morning to you,

    Your reissued comment, with my ‘accidental’ edit @ 8:31 was OK. I hope you agree?

    I am sorry, but generalised criticism of other bloggers – is not OK, and causes ill feeling – however passionate you may feel.

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