Lure-id Headlines, Arsène On Contracts & Transfer Gossip

“Lure”. No matter in what context the word is used, there’s a seedy inference. Aston Villa want to “lure” Jack Wilshere to the Championship, making it sound a small step up from seeing the non-existent puppies in the wood. Which, with John Terry’s presence, is exactly what it is.

Transfer talk dominates the skyline. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants £150,000 per week to go to move to Stamford Bridge, although many believe he should take a leaf out of Elvis Costello’s book and declare, “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”. In a no way planned but opportune moment, a new post on Dad’s Jukebox about rock stars and their books, this time the fall out which ruined New Order.

Back to football. Contracts. Always brings some piety to proceedings when Arsène’s around. Never broken a contract, y’see. Not through lack of trying but his then-chairman refused to release him and waif-like already, Wenger couldn’t make anyone take his hunger strike seriously.

Football and contracts. Not a relationship which is taken seriously as Neymar Jr. can attest. So far, Alexis and Mesut Özil are ‘honouring’ theirs with no forced move taking place. This late in the day, Arsenal can’t afford to allow either to leave; the current squad needs them if it is to return to the hallowed ground of the top four.

Wenger’s insistence that the pair will not be sold is morphing into a “promise” in the media. He’s done no such thing, of course, and the words of anyone connected with football carry a hollow ring. From the terraces to the pitch to the boardroom; “We’ll support you ever more” through to “I was a childhood Arsenal fan”, ending with, “We’re custodians of the club”. All hollow; all perverted by power, corruption and lies. Did I mention New Order…

Little Arsène Horner Sat In His Corner

I know what you’re thinking: “Such cynicism in one so young”. And it’s right that we are cynical about contracts; they aren’t worth the paper they are printed on in the real world and in its’ own little bubble, football is far, far worse. Chairman, managers, players; contracts are ripped up every day of the week.

I wonder if Arsène’s stance on Alexis started as a negotiating ploy before morphing into something else altogether. Namely, pinning the board into a corner. If the Chilean is sold, it’s against Wenger’s wishes. They are the bad guys, or in this case, the fall guys.

Yesterday’s papers regaled us with tales of how Manchester City are preparing a £60m bid for Sanchez. Presumably, it’s being counted by hand as they have been doing it all summer.

Throughout this, Özil is getting a free ride. Stringing the club along with astronomical sums talked about for wages and keeping his options open. Talks were taking place when everyone “was back in London”, I seem to recall him saying when the squad was Down Under. Is that now a literal things? “Can’t talk today, we’re in Stoke”? “Ah, not in London, in Hertfordshire”.

Are these the opening salvos in the death of transfer fees? Wenger mentioned recently that he expected us to see more and more players entering the final years of their contracts, a by-product of which is more leaving on free transfers to take the coin into their own pockets. I’m surprised its taken this long for the issue to arise.

Open The Door & Let ‘Em Out

The next progression is a player chucking in his ticket, the same way the rest of us do. A season-long notice period? At some point, Bosman will become a thing of the past, mentioned only in history books in the same way George Eastham is. You forget sometimes just how much Arsenal has played in changing the face of football; not always for the best, either.

Wenger stressed earlier this morning that Alexis’ contract talks aren’t progressing. I doubt they will while there is a glimmer of hope that City may turn the board’s heads. The Chilean walking next summer is a “consequence” of not selling him this time around. That’s well and good – I guess – so long as the decision isn’t then held up as depriving us of transfer funds next summer. If Arsenal know that is going to be an issue, then a sale earlier this summer was obligatory.

It’s Arsenal so naturally, the worst case scenario is assumed. It always seems to happen to us, frequently of our own making.

Elsewhere, Wenger stated this morning that Lucas Perez is on his way out. Another peculiar signing in the long list of “Why?”. Deportivo or Newcastle are thought to be his destinations du jour although there were stories last week that he’d signed for the former so god knows what’s going on there.

Arsène declared that selling players keeps him as busy as signings and he “expects to be busy” during the remaining fortnight or so that the window is open. Plenty of deadwood to shift on, he didn’t declare…

’til Tomorrow.

69 thoughts on “Lure-id Headlines, Arsène On Contracts & Transfer Gossip

  1. Good morning to you both and to the rest of Left Footed Culture Club.

    I’ve given up reading the transfer speculation as applied to Arsenal its all gone on for far too long. I think I’ll make a start on War and Peace or maybe Crime and Punishment.

  2. I have this image in my head now of Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano counting off £60m for Sanchez by hand in the Man City front office that’s littered with boxes of cash, the way George and Diego counted their millions in the movie “blow”.
    And every time they get close, Guardiola walks in and asks for another £50m for a Walker or Danilo type thus making them lose count and swear up a storm:”damn it Pep, now we most start kountink again”, to which Pep replys: “just weigh the box. 5 kilos is £60m , don’t you know?”

  3. Thought this little snippet, copied from The Telegraph’s comments section, was equally so….

    Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager ever in Premier league history (along side SAF). Its about time you people start respecting him and give this man the credit due.



  4. Yep, pretty comparable…..

    Premier League (13): 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
    FA Cup (5): 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
    League Cup (4): 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
    FA Charity/Community Shield (10): 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
    UEFA Champions League (2): 1998–99, 2007–08
    UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1990–91
    UEFA Super Cup (1): 1991
    Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
    FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008

    FA Premier League (3): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
    FA Cup (7): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17
    FA Community Shield (7): 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017

  5. Afternoon,


    Love it when an AKB comes out with such nonsense. I’ll always give Arsene credit for what he has achieved, but some of those boys get carried away.

    I can’t agree with Wenger’s view that players will be looking to run down their contracts more frequently going forward, as I just don’t believe that other clubs would be as stupid as to mismanage their contract dealings in this way. Are PSG really going to let Neymar Jr. take them right to the wire on his contract in 2022 after having forked out £198m on him? They are likely to be looking to nail him down to a new deal by 2020 at the latest. I can’t believe he will be allowed to drag it out to the following summer on the hope that they would let him go on the cheap rather than see him leave for nothing. It’s typical Wenger speak rather than admit that the contract dealings have been poorly managed for some time at Arsenal.

    Wenger also said this morning that he spends as much time working on the sale of players as he does on buying new players. Does that mean he spends bugger all time on both? Why does Wenger need to get involved in the sale of players any way? Surely he is simply asked which players he believes are surplus to requirements and if he would be happy selling them to a direct competitor in the PL? Everything else should be down to the expert negotiating team.

  6. Arsène declared that selling players keeps him as busy as signings and he “expects to be busy” during the remaining fortnight or so that the window is open

    This is one of the many problems with the way the club is run, Wenger shouldn’t be dealing with this and i expect he really isn’t anyway…’s just more nonsense from the master of flim flam. I’d rather he worked on defensive solidity rather than negotiating with aston villa for the loan of jack wilshere fore example, amongst the pile of over paid players we need too offload. Far too many players vastly overpaid – his responsibility and far too many players in the final years of their contracts – he is not ruthless enough to be considered a great manager, nor does his trophy record even remotely stack up.

  7. Bufallo,

    I think we’re underestimating just what Arsene does for the club.

    Right now I expect he’s either cleaning the showers or ordering kitchen roll. The whole place will collapse without him.

  8. Good stuff.

    So if Sanchez, Ozil and Ox are staying then lets get on with it. Honestly, I don’t think Citeh want Sanchez, why do they need him? Look at what Pep is doing, he is getting young or youngish players and everybody else got moved sans Toure, Fernandinho and Silva. Pep is actually getting a younger but talented squad.

  9. Sigurrdson has signed for Everton, the thing with that is now there is no way back for Barkley. Koeman told him to sign last season, Barkley said no fuck off and Koeman didn’t play him again and has essentially exiled him. Koeman gave him a way bacj and when Barkley sais he wanted to leave but publicly and on social media, Koeman went about his business and brought in Klaassan and now Sigurddson.

    Nobody wants Barkley and neither does the club he plays for.

  10. C,

    Like Henderson at Liverpool and our own Jack Wilshire, Barkley is another one praised by the press at an early stage in his career who failed to progress. Too much too soon.

  11. Sufficiently dismissive of all the shenanigans today YW. Good on you.

    60 or 70 million for Sanchez won’t buy us happiness in the transfer market; not this year nor next. We must have a few hundred million sloshing around the boardroom by now and that has not got us in the market for a Neymar or Ronaldo, so who are we worried that we won’t buy if we let the Bosman-Sanchez go?

    By holding on to Sanchez he will be that much older when he joins ManSour and we will have had him at the peak of his game for a year longer.

    It seems like Wenger’s contractual position has aligned him more with the fans as his new ‘burn baby burn’ attitude to the promise of cash has stopped him selling our best players and concentrate on fucking winning before his legacy is pissed up a tree.

  12. Orson Kaert,

    Yup, I do think its quite interesting watching the young English players that get praised at an early age and how they don’t progress but the players from Europe’s other top countries such as Italy, Germany, Spain and France you see them not only recieving the praise and hype just as early but going on to progress more often than not.

  13. Sell’em all!! Ox, Ozil and Sanchez. Can’t imagine they will be 100% committed to the cause this year if they don’t extend their contracts. When a 50/50 challenge presents itself they may hold off on a few, worrying about not injuring themselves. I know we assume they will be motivated to perform well as they want to impress future employers – but one must also consider that if they get a career ending injury then they are screwed. They lack security when playing out their last year. So they may not put 100% in to their tackles as they will avoid injury. players looking to pad individual stats may not do things in the best interests of the collective.
    Football is a team sport – the sum of the collective is greater than the sum of the parts – look at all the mediocre Manure teams that won.
    I know the Ox may become a great player somewhere else but he it doesn’t look like he will here. Why let him walk on a free? So far this year he’s been in the shop window trying to prove his worth – full motivation – this is as good as he’s going to be. AFC have wasted the summer once again. They should use 17/18 as a rebuilding year. We should have ruthlessly sold the deadwood and sell the players still in the last year of their contract. Slash and burm. Short term pain for long term gain. Then buy some promising youngsters. Buy a DMF destroyer . Concentrate on learning defensive nous. Would have kept Chezzer, he’s young.
    Keeping the players that won’t sign is just allowing the lack of team cohesion cancer to spread. And we won’t win the league and MAYBE we’ll finish in the top 4 but ONLY if other teams stumble. We are just treading water hoping for others to drown. Both Manchester clubs spent massively and have proven managers (ones that have won a league multiple times in the last decade). Chelsea are strong and Spurs may not have bought but Levy will buy a few bargains in the last week. Spurs are young and will improve just for that reason. Finishing in the top 4 isn’t guaranteed for us – especially if we are not a cohesive team of committed players. If we finish 5th and then lose Ox. Ozil and Sanchez then we’ve wasted a great opportunity as well as the funds we could have used to restock. Arsene won’t return and then we’ll have a new manager with a depleted squad.
    Arsene thinks we can do well with this current lot – then he better learn how to recreate a team spirit! Prove me wrong Arsene.

  14. I know I have banged on quite a bit about it BUT, I think we should go after Dembele of Celtic especially if Chelsea really are after Ox for 35m. Dembele would not only provide really good cover if we revert to a back 4 (lets all be honest, we all know Arsene will sooner rather than later) but also in a front 3 while also allowing him to bed into the team this year and then take over for Sanchez next season should he actually leave on a free. That and I think he would be an upgrade on Ox, Theo and Welbeck.

  15. Arsene has confirmed that Mert, Holding and Le Coq will all be fit for Stoke. Both CB’s MUST start and it will be interesting to see what Arsene does with Xhaka’s partner in midfield for Stoke. Does he start Elneny who was steady but quick in transition while keeping things ticking, will he go for Ramsey’s gung-ho style of play or does he re-introduce Le Coq and his limitations but solid in the tackle. Personally I would go with Elneny and then bring on one of the two depending on how the match is going. For Stoke I would go with:

    —-Ozil——Lacazette——Sanchez or Welbeck

    for a back 4

    Bellerin—-Mustafi—-Mert—Sead or Nacho
    Ox or Theo——–Ozil————-Welbeck

  16. Fucking Juve have done it again, they are about to officially announce the arrival of Matuidi for £18m. There are FUCKING BRILLIANT in the transfer market.

  17. PSG have put Lucas Moura up for sell according to reports and if so Arsenal would do really well to sign him and I would sell Ox for 35m. While Lucas can most certainly be a brilliant attacker, I also think should we stick with a back 3, he could be equally brilliant as a RWB and give Bellerin all he can handle competition wise because one of the things that Lucas would routinely get praise for is his defensive work on the wing and then attack with power and pace down the flanks but also his technique and close control is superb.

  18. Yogi, thank you for your many interesting blogs over the years. I look forward to enjoying another year of Arsenal football with your comments. Your blog has a number of informative followers and chief among these chaps is C, who always has something interesting to say.

  19. Just got back from buying a new mower for the site. Now if Arsene wants to bag £35m for the Ox, I’d happily take a 1% of that to fly up the wing with the new mower! Great finisher and no one would dare tackle me for fear of being mulched!!

  20. C,

    Wenger has already said that Sanchez isn’t available for Stoke. If he isn’t on the roster for Liverpool I think he’s gone.

  21. C,

    Been a fan of Moura for some time. He had a very nasty injury, but managed to come back and get back up to speed. Would definitely be an improvement over Walcott and Ox on the right wing.

  22. C:
    Fucking Juve have done it again, they are about to officially announce the arrival of Matuidi for £18m. There are FUCKING BRILLIANT in the transfer market.

    Let me guess….they don’t have a manager performing the additional role of signing/selling personnel.

  23. Wavey,

    To be honest, we have heard players not being ready on a Wednesday then there they are on Saturday in the squad. I would say he won’t be in the squad but I will wait until Friday to see.
    Lucas Moura, yup, I would take him in a heartbeat and the crazy thing is, he is a brilliant winger who not only has goals but creates and can play in multiple systems on either flank. I would test PSG with a 35m offer and if they accept I would sell Ox and tell Chelsea just send the money directly to PSG.

  24. C,

    Arsene says we have too many strikers as it is , so I don’t see us going in for Dembele.

    By the way , where’s Akpom these days ?

  25. philmar,

    Yup, just a manager that knows what he is doing and the players he wants and Juve makes it happen. What’s even funnier is the fact that they do it at prices Arsene wants to pay but clearly can’t.

  26. Paulie Walnuts,

    I know, its strange he says we have too many strikers but in reality we have Lacazette and Giroud; Welbeck is more of an attacker capable of playing multiple roles and Theo scores goals (2nd leading goal scorer last season despite being shunned from really December on) but doesn’t seem to be in Arsene’s plans.

    Akpom, honestly, he seems to have completely disappeared but probably headed for a loan and then off the books.

  27. Couple other transfer rounds for us Arsenal supporters:

    Valencia are apparently confident they can land Gabriel which would be a loss given he has actually performed quite well both at CB and RB and I know he isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but he defends well, is no non-sense and as a CB3 or CB4 is a really good option.

    Debuchy want Marseille, fuck it sell him for 3m.

    According to reports and possibly Sanchez’s agent, Arsenal have rejected a bid of 50m for Sanchez from Citeh.

  28. Who says you can’t get quality for under 20-30m, look at Juve’s summer business:

    Szczesny: £10m
    Cuadrado; £17m after 2 year loan
    Bentancur: £8.4m, one of the most promising CM’s in South American futbol from Boca Juniors
    De Sciglio: £11m, from Milan who many thought would be what Maldini was but has stall and looks to continue his development
    Benatia: £14.4m, from Bayern who is a quality and dependable CB who might not be Bonucci but is is probably in that next tier under wold-class CB’s
    Costa: £5.4m loan with £35.4m option to buy
    Matuidi: £15-17m

  29. Apparently the deal for Gabriel is close for 10m with arseblog reporting/saying Arsene has greenlit the transfer

    Given the fact Mert is set to retire, Kos’ back and Achilles are going to shit, Nacho isn’t a CB, Holding we will see and Chambers seems to be on the outs; it makes no fucking sense at all.

  30. When it comes to contracts, this summer has seemed ass backwards. We have seen Chambers, Elneny, Martinez and Szczesny all either sold, a deal with Arsenal agreed only for the player to want to say or a deal close or loaned but the likes of Gibbs, Jack, Jenks, Debuchy, Ospina and to a lesser extent Ramsey and Ox either can’t be sold because the fee is too high or Arsene wants to keep the.

  31. C,

    £10M would be a steal but it really wouldn’t surprise me. If it goes through surely Chambers stays , although perhaps Arsene will revert to Elneny or someone else totally unsuited to playing in a back 3, & sell Chambers too.

  32. And in a deal that would be an ABSOLUTE bargain, reports say Liverpool are closing in on a deal for £20m for Seri.

  33. Paulie Walnuts,

    It would be an absolute bargain deal for Valencia and one would think Chambers would stay. It would make sense for Chambers to stay but then again, Chambers is back from international duties yet has been with the squad for the match day and nobody has really heard anything about him. Yup, just another day under the current Arsenal and Arsene.

  34. Somebody please explain to me in what fucking world is Gibbs worth £15-17m(quoted asked price) but Gabriel who was superb in La Liga and very good for us (yea he had a mistake at times in him but so does Kos and quite a number of other quality CB’s) but Elneny, Gabriel and Szczesny are only worth £10m to Arsenal. I mean let me get this right, we currently DON’T have a back-up for Bellerin at RB, Mert and Mustafi are the ONLY fully fit CB’s not named Holding at the club ( I don’t count Chambers because well Arsene hasn’t even mentioned him let alone use him)Kos has a broken back and an Achilles that he has admitted needs treatment almost daily and yet we are going to sell a CB that performed well when called upon whether it was at RB or CB.

    Fuck me, we can’t get rid of the likes of Gibbs, Ospina, Jack, Debuchy, Jenks but we are willing to sell Gabriel, Elneny, Szczesny, Chambers.

    Madness utter madness!

  35. C,

    This is the most bizarre decision so far this summer and we have already had some humdingers. It’s clear Wenger has no interest in Chambers as a CB, so it seems that he is willing to go with Per, Kos and Holding with Nacho, Sead and Elneny as cover. So I’m guessing Nacho ends up in the left side of a back 3 and Sead as LWB. If anyone gets injured we are using FBs as CBs again with a RW as LWB. We’ve already seen it in the game against Leicester. A few months ago he wasn’t even sure about using a back 3, but now he is constantly willing to gamble with the players he puts in there.

  36. C @ 9:15

    There are a couple of possible explanations.

    1) The rest of the world does not rate Gabriel nearly as highly as you do.
    2) The stories about Arsene holding out for $15-17M for Gibbs or $20M for Perez are utter rubbish.

    I think the real answer is probably some combination of those 2. I still suspect the biggest reason we can’t get rid of Gibbs/Perez/Debuchy/Wilshere is the wage issue we have been discussing.

  37. And we have heard nothing so far about the club trying to sign up any of the players with 2019 contracts this summer. So we could be looking at the same thing next summer with another hatful of players entering the last year of their contracts. Someone has lost the plot completely.

  38. Wavey,

    Its beyond a humdinger mate. Mert was out most of last season, Kos was a shell of himself for the 2nd half of last season, Mustafi is a good get and I still think he will come good but why wouldn’t you keep Gabriel who is a better defender than he gets credit for but also takes no prisoners and can be relied on whenever called on. I honestly don’t get at all what is taking place espcially when you consider Kos is still out another 2 matches. More than that, even if we go with a back 4, say Bellerin gets hurt again, who is going to play RB especially as Mustafi should be the CB we find a partner for (Gabriel is/was the ideal replacement for Kos, I mean think about Kos when he first arrived and your looking at teh French version of Gabriel who has improved quite a bit since his arrival). O well, Arsene knows best right 😉

  39. Not many teams in the world would be dumb enough to take the risk it would involve to give someone like Debuchy or Wilshere a long term contract anywhere near the money they currently making. Look at Perez’s record on wickepedia. I doubt there are many teams that would be anxious to give a 4 year contract at close to his current wage level to a player like Perez in his late 20’s who has that sort of career record.

  40. Bill,

    Sometimes mate, I really wonder about you. Why would Perez’s agent bang on about the asking price from Arsenal being to high when an offer of 11-12m has been rejected. Sometimes I think you get too caught up in a narrative because with Gabriel and Perez there has been NOTHING about wages its about the fee with Arsenap before wages are even discussed. If wages were a problem then why is this Gabriel deal done so quickly.

    Please mate, stop talking wages when teams simply don’t want to pay the actual fees for players like Gibbs, Jenks, Debuchy, Jack.

  41. None of the worlds big teams have any interest in players like Gibbs or Debuchy or probably even Wilshere. The smaller teams where someone like Gibbs or Debuchy might have a chance to play regularly will be reluctant to spend the sort of wages that would make Gibbs one of the higher paid players on their squad.

  42. Unlike Gibbs or Debuchy or Perez there are probably a few middle sized teams like Valencia who would be interested and could afford Gabriel’s wages so he is one of the few players that Arsene would be willing to part with that he actually might be able to sell. However Valencia are probably not willing to pay a high transfer fee so if Arsene wants to sell anyone he has to compromise on the transfer fee of players like Wojo or Gabriel.

  43. I still maintain that Wenger doesn’t understand the importance of a solid defence. If we look at the defenders and goalkeepers he has bought over the years there have been some right lemons.

    Manninger, Almunia, Fabianski and yes Szczesny plus a host of so called centre backs and full backs, we can all produce a list of failures in those categories Sylvestre and Stepanovs to name but two.

    It’s possible to count the good ones on the fingers of one hand. Sol Campbell, Cech as a short term fill in, now past his best. Vermaerlen and Koscielny although he took a while to settle in the Premiership and is now restricted by age and increasing infirmity and there’s Bellerin who seems to have plateaued early.

    Not a record to be proud of.

  44. Barcelona are being utterly outclassed again by RM. Extraordinarily one-sided affair.

    I don’t mind selling Gabriel if Chambers stays.

  45. This is all just speculation on my part but it makes sense that players like Gibbs, Jenks, Debuchy, Wilshere, Joel Campbell, Perez would be very difficult to impossible to sell unless they are willing to take a significant wage cut. On the other hand someone like Wojo or Gabriel still has some value but there are very limited situations where a team would be willing to buy them so Arsene has no leverage and is forced to take a low transfer fee.

  46. Bill,

    I agree with that to some extent, but I still don’t get why we would look to sell players who are actually useful in the squad, unless we are going to buy in upgrades. Since it appears less likely that is the case, the sale of players like Gabriel and Wojo is utter madness. Selling them because they are the only players we can sell is absolutely looney tunes. So we weaken the squad because the BoD needs some sales to balance the books? Absolutely crackers.

  47. Wavey

    I suspect Arsene did not Wojo back after having to put up with him for 5 years. I don’t think Gabriel is really that good and perhaps the deal to sell Chambers fell thru and he is going to stay. Chambers can be a back up RB just as well as Gabriel.

  48. Its funny you say Gabriel isn’t that good but look at his performances when he played emergency RB and when he played CB last season, he was actually solid defensively. Sure as a RB he isn’t going to help attacking wise but he sure did sure up defensively that flank. I honestly think the problem that quite a few people that say Gabriel isn’t that good defensively have is that he doesn’t always “look the part” but if you actually watch him play, he is very effective and while he is aggressive and he does have that mistake in him from time to time because of that, you have to remember that he has only been at Arsenal, what a year and a half and in that time he was not only learning English (which he never spoke before) but was trying to adapt to a brand new league while not playing regularly. Think about the times he played against the likes of Costa and Lukuka, he actually was superb in not only not being out-muscled but also because he is so aggressive and those strikers are aggressive he would match them and they wouldn’t produce. Lets not also forget that it took Kos quite a few years to develop and get those mistakes out of his game and often times he didn’t look the part but that’s why players develop.

    In La Liga, Gabriel will do really well as he was doing before we bought him.

  49. Bill,

    So he decides to sell the player who Juve want as their first choice keeper and keeps and inferior player? Have you seen some of business they have done this summer? And that’s a team who were in the CL final last year. And he’s rather keep Chambers than Gabriel, but players two LBs as CBs instead and Chambers doesn’t even make the bench? As I said, it makes no sense and it seems to me we are getting closer and closer to the cliff edge. Last season should have been a wake up call, but the FA Cup win has allowed them to paper over the cracks and carry on letting Wenger live in his own little fantasy world.

  50. Wavey,

    Spot on! Lets not act like Arsene sold Szczesny and now Gabriel because the players behind (or in Szczesny case competing with, Cech) are upgrades, NO they are being sold because the deals for the other players either fell through or the fee was too high. I mean I’m tired of reading that ARsene didn’t want Szczesny, no it was the fact that the deal for Ospina fell through multiple times at the start of the summer (I mean there were pics and quotes circulating of the clubs President actually on their way or in London) but the deals fell through because Arsenal wanted a high transfer fee. The deals for Debuchy and Gibbs, the clubs trying to buy them came out and stated that the fee was to high so a deal with Arsenal couldn’t be done.

    The other thing is, if wages were so high then why was it possible for Gabriel’s deal to get done so quickly, Szczesny deal to get done so quickly. Why didn’t Bournemouth even attempt to or want to sign Jack. Why would Benetiz come out and say that the TRANSFER FEE for Perez was too high. Utter madness to sell the useful players that stay fit and add value to the squad jsut because nobody else wants the other players.

  51. What I find almost the most frustrating thing is that Arsene is the one who is dealing with this. He should be spending his time being the field manager and getting the team ready for the next game. We should have a director of football who deals with these sort of issues but Arsene is such a control freak that he won’t accept working with a director of football. Back in the day of David Dein, many considered Arsene one of the best and most innovative field managers in the world. I can’t help but believe that the degradation of his managerial abilities are at least partly related to him taking all of the responsibility for every facet of the football operations of the club.

  52. Wavey

    Selling Wojo may turn out to be a mistake and only time will tell but I can understand why Arsene would not want him back. I can also understand why Wojo would not want to come back and its not beyond belief that Wojo told Arsene he wanted to go to Juve and would not sign a new contract with Arsenal and leave on the free next season if he did not sell him now.

    With regard to Gabriel I don’t think he is that good and I suspect Arsene would have played 2 LB even if Gabriel was healthy. I agree with Jonny. I would rather keep Chambers if given a choice between him and Gabriel.

  53. Perhaps a director of football who could devote his full time to issues like wage distribution would have had more time to think about what he was doing and not gotten us into this situation.

  54. Wavey

    The mistake that Arsene made was not having Mustafi ready to play the first game. He got away with it this time but our record in the first game of the year in this decade shows just how misguided the policy of giving players who are in summer international tournaments the first couple games off really is. No other manager in the world does what he does.

  55. Bill,

    If Deportivo offered 12 million euro for Perez why on earth didn’t the club sell him? The club can’t trash someone’s value (which they have done) and then expect to recover all the money they spent on him. Something very weird is going on. I do wonder if Arsene is sure he wants to sell him!
    Still, I suspect that Perez is the sort of player who, as the deadline approaches, a lot of clubs which haven’t got their first or second choices will run their eyes over. Everton?

  56. A lot of people have complained that Sanchez/Ozil weren’t signed up to long term contracts a lot earlier than this. But that overlooks the fact that they were NEVER going to sign up to another tour of duty under Commander Wenger. They just want OUT.

  57. I wonder if Arsenal is still in the market for another big forward signing. Wenger wants to hold onto Perez until that is nailed down because, otherwise, he might still need him as back-up. As to the morality of that, I will make no comment.

  58. Wavey,

    It certainly looks like the objective is to try to balance the books as near as possible by selling any fringe player that another club shows an interest in. This at a time when clubs we are allegedly competing with are spending between £150m and £200m to improve their teams (United, City and Chelsea). Looking at spending totals this summer we are heading for a lower net spend than even promoted clubs Brighton and Huddersfield which would be insanity. It’s almost like we’re reverting to the model we had ten years ago. Not exactly the ‘change’ Ivan promised is it?

  59. Bill,

    Maybe you are right on that, but I doubt it. Wenger has been happy to play Gabriel when his first choice CBs have been out. It also doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t even have Chambers on the bench when he is clearly fit and has been playing regularly at CB. Not having Mustafi back and ready to play was madness, but he compounded that by playing 2 LBs in the middle of the defence when he actually had at least one player who is more experienced in the position. We could have played Holding/Chambers/Nacho and played Sead at LWB. We played a right-sided winger here instead. Sead had only just joined the club, so was unlikely to have worked much with the team in the LB/LWB role let alone being drafted in as left-sided CB. It smells like he also sees Chambers as surplus to requirements, or more specifically that we would sell Chambers to generate cash if a deal could be done.

  60. andy1886,

    The model of 10 years ago was meant to be about handling the stadium debt. It seems that the club is now applying that same model to covering the lose of income from failing to qualify for the CL. I’m starting to think the decision to keep players like Sanchez, Ox and Ozil in their final contract years and refuse to accept bids is down to the belief that the attacking line up (with Lacazette) can get us into the CL again. Wenger has been asked to sell off players he doesn’t feel he will need to do the job. As Wenger doesn’t have that much belief in the value of defenders he probably thinks he can get through with a few players who can cover if need be, even if they are playing out of position. The house of cards collapses completely if one of the key CBs has an extended injury and we have to throw in one of the other players for more than a couple of games.

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