STONE COLD FRIDAY: 7 More Sleeps To The End Of The Circus

It’s that time of month. That time of August, if I can clarify a bit. That time when you want to crane your neck out of the long grass and ask “Are we there yet?”

It’s that time when listening to Arséne talk about transfers gets as tedious as watching Police Academy 9, or is it 10. You know, when the sight of Steve Guttenberg’s face yet again is a reminder of Wenger going “We will only add to our squad if we get a top top player”. That kind of we’ve-been-here-before feeling.

Of course no one else is coming in. We’ve already done our ‘2 or 3 more during the summer’ routine. It’s a wrap with Kolasinac and Lacazette. Some may even forget we got our Bosnian tank for the price of a bag of chips if anything. There is that irony you know. Arsenal fretting over 3 key players running their contracts down for a Bozeman, while we are hunting in the basement stores of Europe for the same.

Welcome to a Special Kind of Stupid

You know we’re going to be stuck on a special kind of stupid all week because Jim White is already oiling himself for deadline day. Oh wait, he moved to that dodgy lot at Talk Spite, didn’t he? No matter. Depending who you believe, Arséne has supposedly gone down on his knees to beg Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to sign his new £180,000 a week contract. But they say The Ox has his head on a swivel looking around for options. The options that give you regular pitch time, the same salary Arsenal is offering and a sweet signing on bonus. The options you get at Anfield or Stanford Bridge.

What of Little Jack Willy who they say has resorted to brawling on the pitch. Seeing as Arsenal is so desperate to get rid of 3 more senior players, Arséne has resorted to a desperate “Has boots, will travel” sales pitch to try and offload Jack in 7 days. Doesn’t really work when our Jack turns up for the medical in crutches and a wheel chair in the boot, does it?

I suppose Wenger can argue that keeping Joel Campbell for the season has to stack up better than Li’l Jack. Hell, if I was Campbell, I’d refuse to spend a 7th year in the wilderness. Plagues and famines used to last that long in ancient times. Perhaps its just strange to operate that long away from your regular day job.

Hang on a Damn Minute, I’m Buffering

Yup! That’s the message you get on Google Maps when you try and figure out all these potential exotic places we might be traveling to this season. The Champions League really spoilt us. I didn’t even realize some of these teams existed. We find out today at noon whether our traveling support are going to need a new travel agent.

Interesting to note, Arsenal are actually one of – if not the strongest contenders. We have to be favourites to win the Europa League. Well, at least until a few familiar faces are thrown out of that other cup in December. I feel bad we’re not there, but I must say – that group with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Spurs is just what the doctor ordered. Celtic on the other hand must be wondering who they have to sleep with to get a break. Last year it was Barcelona. For their trouble this year, they get both Bayern and PSG. I must admit, there’s something relieving about not having to face Barcelona or Bayern like a stuck record – at least for a while.

If we’re going to win the Europa league though, we have to take it more seriously than we’ve done the first two games of the Premier League.

Oy, You Lot – Here’s Your Team Talk Against Arsenal

“They Come Back from the Half Time Nap Still groggy”

You know that’s the notice Jurgen Klopp is going to print and hang in the Anfield home Dressing room on Sunday. Why shouldn’t he? It worked for Chelsea in the Community Shield. It worked for Leicester City. It worked for Stoke City. What’s the point of a team talk when he can just put his feet up and whistle.

Someone should check Granit Xhaka’s refreshments at half-time for any laxatives. It’s disturbing that all the three ‘after half-time’ goals started with lapses from him. I would be happy with him being benched to let him reflect on that. Try out an Elneny-Ramsey or Le Coq-Ramsey combo as our Granit chews over the impact of his mid-match naps.

I would be shocked if there were no goals on Sunday. We’ve got two managers who would rather score more goals than their opponent instead of defending. If Ozil is on his game, we’ll have an equally devastating front line. The problem is you can never tell which Ozil will turn up. If he’s not performing well, I wouldn’t be averse to him being substituted by Iwobi. I also hope Wenger drops this Bellarin Ox experiment. Let Sead play left wingback, and settle for either OX or Bellarin on the right. It’s refreshing to have a backline of Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal. That’s as solid as we’ll get out back this season.

Have a great day good people, just 7 more sleeps.

87 thoughts on “STONE COLD FRIDAY: 7 More Sleeps To The End Of The Circus

  1. The offer of a £180,000 a week if Oxlade-Chamberlain signs a new contract, looks like an arse covering exercise by Wenger. “We did our best to keep him, we offered to make him one of the highest paid players at the club, we even said he had responsibilities to Arsenal, but he left anyway”.

  2. IF Mustafi is still at the club come Sunday, I would like to see him alongside Mertesaker and Koscielny in the back three rather than putting a left back, Monreal, in there.

    The problem for Wenger is that refusing to rule out the sale of Mustafi will have messed with the players head, so he may be forced to play either Holding or Chambers, of course being Wenger he could always revert to hammering more round pegs into square holes.

  3. Orson Kaert,

    Yes, stating an inflated salary offer is a policy the club use often when they realise a player is leaving.

    However , I don’t believe too many fans will be bothered if The Ox leaves for the reported £30M, so in this case it actually makes the club look ridiculous.

  4. Ok this is a big game
    No dicking around
    I agree with YW he needs to be assertive with WB

    I do think Ox plays well RWB
    Bell needs to deliver again but would be weird to have a reserve as our highest paid player
    I like Orson view on ‘we did our best to keep him’ ignoring of course we left it too late

    So based on recent performances though Ox gets the nod

    Top 3 pick themselves

    Soooo midfield

    Ramsey has the energy and will be told to behave himself

    So

    Cech
    Sead Nacho/Kos/Mustafi Ox
    Ramsey/Xhaka
    Ozil/Lac/Alexis

    Not a bad team really…

  5. I am nervous the way LFC come out of the gates like greyhounds

    Could be another 4-3

    I will take it that way round

  6. Arsetralian,

    But what if the theory that AW actually instructs Ramsey to make those forward runs is correct? Then he’s doing exactly what he supposed to do. Our main problem is that we have a deepest lying midfielder who simply cannot tackle and has all the turn of speed of a sloth. I’d rather have a player who can tackle and shield the defence, but has only moderate passing ability rather than one who plays lovely passes but has all the defensive capability of a blancmange.

  7. I Odumbe Kute,

    Mustafi’s possible departure has been in the news for a week at least, no doubt talks have been ongoing and have had sufficient time to come to fruition, so a departure before Sunday is certainly not an impossibility.

    The speed with which deals can be done evidenced by Wenger’s regular end of transfer window trolley dashes.

  8. andy1886,

    Agreed
    I got carried away again and totally contradicted my monologue yesterday re choose between Ozil and Ramsey

    Problem is we have not bought that wonderful midfielder

    Tough to choose El or Le coq over Ramsey realistically

    I mean he is a much better individual

    But the team…

    Ok Aaron you’re benched

    We need to be boring

    Le Coq are you fit yet?

    You’re up!

  9. Arsetralian,

    Personally I’d take either Le Coq (if he can cut out the rash tackles) or Elneny (would need to be disciplined and robust) in place of Xhaka. Let Ozil spray the passes around and Ramsey can make those late runs into the area and add a goal threat from midfield.

    Most sensible would be to start with Le Coq and when he gets his almost inevitable yellow card we bring on Elneny.

  10. andy1886,

    Interesting

    You really are not Xhaka fan are you?

    Then should Ozil play deeper?

    If he is our Santi with Le coq…

    Then Ramsey back on flank again like a Freddie of old…

  11. andy1886,

    I agree with you on the Le Coq-Elneny mix with Ramsey. With his head straight, this is a midfield Le Coq will run in terms of shielding the defence. I think Xhaka seriously needs some bench time.

  12. Arsenal had the second worst record of goals conceded in the first 15 minutes of second half last season and only Watford managed to do worse.

    This season looks like a continuation of that trend and when you think about it, it’s probably not the refreshments served at half time that cause this particular malfunction.

    Imagine you’re all jacked up from the action on the field and the crowd noise and then you go in, sit down and listen to Arsene talk for 10 minutes.

    Naturally you come out of that invigorating pep talk a bit lethargic and then , to your shock and horror, you find out that the opposing manager had made some changes you werent exactly prepared to deal with and all of a sudden you have less time on the ball.

  13. andy1886,

    OK, I don’t usually do this, but:

    3 centre-backs (you pick em)
    5 middies Ramsay – Elneny – Coq – Ozil – Ox
    2 forwards Lacazette / Alexis (if he feels like playing)

    Bellerin, of course, gets the hook and Ramsay takes his slot.

    Oh, that’s interesting. If you play Coq-Elneny-Ozil in midfield, with three centre-backs behind them, I think you can afford to have Ramsay instead of Bellerin as the right winger.

  14. Without ourselves the Champs League draw seemed a bit strange yesterday…..oh well here’s to an away trip to Dynamo Panzer Tank of Lithuania!

  15. The contract hangups of Sanchez, Ozil and now Ox contrary to what Wenger would have us believe is a clear vote of no confidence in both Wenger and the general direction of the club. The chickens are coming home to roost. Wenger and the misfits at the board level have been trying for years to manage the fans’ expectation and set underwhelming targets football wise.

  16. Freddo,

    An interesting formation, although I’d have Kolasinac in place of the Ox on the left (let’s face it, Ox is off anyway). And I like the idea of two genuine strikers as opposed to a front three. Far too radical for AW of course and wouldn’t allow him to play the pass the ball to death football that he so enjoys.

  17. What about Ospina for Cech, I mean lets be honest here, a couple of Leicester’s goals Cech looked completely lost on and its not like he commands his box and gobbles up crosses (see how he looked completely lost for Leicester’s goal) so lets see what Ospina can do.

  18. rahl,

    Yup, I don’t know why people criticise Wenger for not renewing Sanchez’s contract earlier. Sanchez was never going to renew. Sanchez has played under Sampaoli, Pep, Bielsa and Wenger. Who’s the odd man out? Sanchez knows what a good manager looks like. Wenger ain’t it.

  19. Pretty straight forward group there. Nelson, Maitland-Niles and one of our other youngsters should feature quite regularly along with Giroud at CF.

  20. Good stuff by the way Darius!

    I would be interested in seeing

    Cech
    Kos——Mustafi——Nacho
    Bellerin–Elneny—Le Coq—-Sead
    Ozil—-Lacazette—-Sanchez

    Or

    Cech
    Bellerin—-Mustafi—Kos—Sead
    ———–Elneny—-Le Coq—–
    Ox——Ozil——Sanchez
    —-Lacazette——

  21. Hello, my fine feathered friends, 🙂

    Has anyone been keeping an eye on how we have handled the financial aspect of the transfer window?

    My own effort, based on the information gleaned from sports pages and blogs goes something like this.

    Transfer In:
    Lacazette – Cost £50m
    Sead – £0 — sod all.

    Transfers Out:
    Gabriel – £10m
    Chezzer – £10m
    Toral, Bennacer, Mourgos — £5m (mostly undisclosed)

    Umm — that means we have so far spent £25m in this window – and if Wenger is to be believed, we will not buy anyone else this window, unless we sell more.

    Compared with Manure, Citeh and Chelsea we are behaving like paupers! Anyone else disappointed with that? [Yeah, a silly question!]

  22. HenryB,

    Yup, I’d made a similar calculation. Given that we may sell the Ox for £30m+, are still trying to shift Perez and Campbell, and may listen to offers for the likes of Mustafi or Chambers the objective appears to be zero (or negative) net spend.

    Which is why I laugh when people say we shouldn’t sell to Chelsea and City because they are our competitors. They’re not.

  23. Great read Yogi – insightful, witty, informative. ACLF is my first source of workplace cyberloafing.

  24. Cologne, Red Star Belgrade, Bate Borisov. That’s some travel. I’d have preferred some Belgian, Dutch, Portuguese teams that like to play football but our second team from the squad should be fine and benefit from games. This is perfect for our bloated team of pretty good players. The real question is when we get into the knockouts and face teams like Lyon, Milan, Bilbao, Hoffenheim and the CL 3rd place teams (Spurs anyone–Europa 2 legged derby!). Will we play strong teams?

    I don’t care at all about the annual top 4 fight. We aren’t built for a title challenge, so as a fan I really can’t get into the 12th repetition of the league season. The novelty alone and chance to play some odd teams iwith some youth will make Europa more entertaining to me. I am embracing the tragicomedy of Europa! Ironic cheers and jeers ahead!

  25. HenryB:
    Hello, my fine feathered friends,
    Compared with Manure, Citeh and Chelsea we are behaving like paupers!

    At the risk of sounding like a pedant, paupers have no cash to spend.
    We are misers.
    But I am not convinced we are done. Arsene does like to pick through the last minute bargain bins in the last few days of the transfer window. Other teams’ transfers may cause domino effects… Real Madrid or PSG may need to offload a few players that become surplus to needs as a result of a last minute purchase.
    We may be looking to offload Mustafi and the Ox and may be willing to do so only if someone else of quality becomes available from one of the bigger clubs.

  26. Wow – I’ve been looking at our past transfer window transactions and I can’t believe we got £10,000,000 for David Bentley …and that was in 2005 market prices.

  27. HenryB,

    Yup between the cost and banging on about squad size.

    Outside of Sead and Lacazette, again it felt like when Plan A for the third signing fell through(Lemar) there was no plan in place so revert to type of selling players and making a profit.

  28. Orson Kaert,

    I think there was a Plan A (Sead, Lacazette and Lemar) but Plan B, no chance in hell.

    With that said, Its a shame it feela like Chambers and/or Mustafi is set to leave.

  29. Is Arsene Wengers greatest achievment not the Invincibles but since then the feet of slowly getting a fanbase to lower their expectations whilst still paying top dollar?

  30. Sky Sports “sources” are reporting that Oxlade-Chamberlain has refused the £180,000 a week offer and Wenger will tell him within 24 hours whether he can leave or will be forced to honour his contract.

  31. Oxlade-Chamberlain has said he doesn’t like playing wing back and wants to be a central midfielder.

    Sorry son, your just not good enough to dictate where you play.

  32. Orson Kaert,

    Yup, he is not good enough in midfield to play there and him refusing that contract is funny if I must say given he has failed to hold down a spot at Arsenal.

    So he goes to Chelsea, no way he is getting in that midfield with Kante, Bakayoko and Cesc. Sure he goes to LIverpool but for me he isn’t the player that Wjinadumn is and Can, for all his flaws is actually quite a good player who does the defensive work and is perfect for Klopp while Henderson if I’m not mistaken is club Captain plus Llanana is more consistent. So Ox will find it quite difficult.

    Actually if I take my Gooner hat off, I struggle to find a top 7 (Spud, Citeh, Manure, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton) midfield that he would get into.

  33. Is it not the case that one of the major complaints of ‘the ox’ is that he would like some commitment by Wenger to be playing somewhere in the middle of the team? I like him but I do not think that the ox has the footballing intelligence to be a major play maker for the team. He is excellent on the wings and crossing into the centre as he essentially did last year.

  34. If the rumours are true the Ox appears to have an inflated opinion of his own ability.

    Maybe he thinks that going out with a naff singer from a girl band makes him the new Beckham.

    He’s certainly not worth the wages ‘on offer’ & he’s also not good enough to play CM IMO so get as much money as possible for him asap.

  35. Orson Kaert,

    True but when you actually think about it, he hasn’t been shunted around that much. I mean the RWB role and the way he plays it is essentially the same as a RW’er in Arsene’s system and he has played on the LW but most wingers play or switch sides during a match.

    Lets be honest, the times that he has played in CM he has been less than impressive but you couple that with his injuries, inconsistency and no end product and while Arsene certainly has plenty of blame, the player has to take some blame as well.

    Ox might have lost faith in Arsene but the fact that when fit he is pretty much a regular Arsene clearly hasn’t lost faith in him. I mean FFS, Arsene has actually moved our RB/RWB to LWB and placed the LWB he brought in (who by the way was voted the 2nd best LB/LWB in the Busndesliga last season only behind Alabab) to CB speaks volumes.

  36. Monaco have now sole 3/4 starters that took them to the semi final of the champions league, if Wenger could have made an offer for Lemar that Monaco would accept earlier they would have parted ways with him. It just begs the question whether player evaluation prices are more important than actually getting the player. If United win the title this year, I am not sure if anyone will care about the price of Pogba!!!

  37. I suspect the “I don’t really enjoy playing wingback” is just diplomatic code for “I want to get away from this club and get some proper coaching so I can develop for what remains of my career”.

    I also wouldn’t make the mistake of judging his fit in another team on his Arsenal form and fortune.

    I suspect he might well blossom into a much better player at another club under a manager who actually knows what he’s doing and how to coach players.

  38. The other interesting piece of news is Iwobi and Arsenal are reported to be in talks about him going on loan to Galatasaray for the season.

  39. MikeSA,

    I think you have something there.

    I’d bet the real reason Arsene has hung on to Theo for all these years is because (slim chance IMO) he may hit the heights elsewhere….therefore showing up what he’s achieved with us.

  40. Dembele to Barca is a done deal and if he reaches his vast potential this will look a bargain. I mean he had 15+ assist and goals playing in an underachieving Dortmund side. I fully expect him to continue to progress and be brilliant.

    Alsp, Seri has been left out of the Nice squad.

    If Barca get Seri too, they will have done brilliantly in addressing one of their major needs in midfield and signed a player to plug in immediately in their attack and will produce.

  41. C,

    It’s crazy, even if Iwobi isn’t going, how pathetic our transfer dealings have been this summer. We could end up investing less than the likes of Brighton, Huddersfield, Watford and Leicester. It’s not just the big teams that have more ambition than we do.

    I think that as far as AW is concerned he’s won his battle for control of the direction of the club and disgruntled fans can go and hang as far as he’s concerned. In fact he probably doesn’t even consider them fans at all. He’ll do it his way, on a relative shoe string, and claim the moral high ground for the slightest success as though we were one of the minnows.

    It’s going to be a long two years.

  42. philmar,

    On the spending front I was interested to hear an expert on football finance (and Arsenal fan, whose name temporarily escapes me) pointing out that the money in the bank is largely irrelevant to our transfer budget as Silent Stan is using it as collateral on borrowing for his other interests. His view was Wenger has no access to that money whatever he wants to do ( aside from his normal aversion to spending obvs!)

  43. Iwobi, another of Wenger’s failures, he invested considerable game time in Iwobi but never got the return on his gamble he expected.

    A player with undoubted talent but his end product was sadly lacking, out on loan usually leads to out the door. I doubt he will learn sufficient in Turkey to make him a Premiership starter starter for Arsenal.

  44. andy1886,

    Agree with all of that.

    The fact that its clear what we need, there are plenty of options to be had and we don’t go get one. If Iwobi leaves it literally means little. The thing that is probably so frustrating for me is the fact the players are or can be useful are sold and the others are kept and high fees are demanded.

    For instance, why is Gabriel going for 10m yet Gibbs can’t go for less than 15m.

  45. C,

    Gabriel is being sold outside the Premiership, Gibbs is English and therefore has a higher value to Premiership clubs that need to raise the numbers of their English qualified players. He is not synch an attractive proposition for overseas clubs.

  46. JackofAll,

    I suspect that it’s a little more nuanced than that. Stan does not own Arsenal Football Club – he’s the majority shareholder with 67% of the club if I recall correctly. Therefore he cannot make legal claim to the club’s assets including our cash pile, and cannot use it to guarantee any borrowing elsewhere.

    What he can do is use his shareholding in the club as collateral for other investments. The higher the value of the club the more that shareholding is worth. As majority shareholder he can dictate the direction that the club takes which includes to maximise the value of the club and therefore the value of his shares.

    Having a large cash pile certainly increases the club’s market value, but only to a point. Share price reflects performance measured against market expectations – which is why sometimes a company might report seemingly great results but the share price will fall because the market expected an even better one. In football a greater measure of performance is saleability of the club to potential commercial partners and this is pretty much directly linked to success on the pitch.

    So in a nutshell if Stan restricts AW’s spending to the detriment of results he’ll eventually decrease the value of the club and his share value. And it’s fair to say that there isn’t any actual proof that Stan is limiting Wenger’s spending and plenty to suggest that AW himself doesn’t like to spend if he can avoid it (see numerous statements to that effect from the man himself). Arsene’s reluctance to spend certainly predated Stan’s arrival back in 2007 and his seizing control in 2011.

  47. Orson Kaert,

    I get that but then you can’t have it both: unwanted player on high wages club asking for a big fee then complain about squad being too big. Lower the fee and get rid of said player and promote Nelson thus swapping English player for English player.

  48. Orson Kaert,

    Bottom line though is that he’s only worth what a buyer will pay. Clearly the combination of his wages and the fee demanded is in excess of that. Arsenal will have to take a hit on their fee because they stupidly granted him an excessive salary (on par with what Harry Kane was on at Spurs last season believe it or not). Being in the last year of his contract also reduces our bargaining power.

    If we don’t sell anyone by the end of the TW I expect him to go for whatever we can get in a fire-sale of unwanted assets. Better that we negotiate the best deal we can before we get to that stage.

  49. Wenger is committed to reducing the squad size, if he can’t get rid of players like Gibbs, Wilshire and Campbell he must move on others such as Gabriel, Perez and possibly Mustafi. How long will it be before he gets round to Walcott and other fringe players such as Coquelin and Elneny.

    Arsenal under Wenger is looking less like a team in transition and more like a team in terminal decline.

  50. Orson Kaert,

    Has anyone actually asked Wenger why he let the squad get so bloated in the first place? After all, it’s not that he inherited it, or woke up one morning to discover that he had a whole bunch of players that he wasn’t aware of. Bad squad management resulting in a situation that is now being managed equally badly. With one constant in Arsene Wenger.

  51. andy1886:
    Orson Kaert,

    Has anyone actually asked Wenger why he let the squad get so bloated in the first place?

    Clearly not.

    Whilst Arsene is culling the playing staff maybe he can reduce some of the sycophants he has on the staff. It’s obvious Bould has no influence other than nodding at Wenger’s touchline rants so let’s save some easy money there.

  52. It’s the same virtually every summer, Wenger gets in a good freebie, he buys an exciting player, and there are tons of exciting rumors on how this season he’s going to finally push on and get the players we need (never mind that he’s incapable of doing anything with them , no matter how good they are).

    As soon as the season tickets are sold everything comes to a complete halt and Wenger only makes vague attempts at bullshitting the fans about any more incoming players and starts with his usual excuses about how it’s so expensive, he’s happy with the squad he’s got, judge me in May, etc etc etc

    We’ve heard and seen it all before, I’m just amazed that everyone (including me) , fall for this shit every season.

    Wenger might be a complete and utter cunt, but that doesn’t say much for us either (and no, I don’t exclude myself from that either).

  53. Orson Kaert,

    We need Europa league players and he’s only been in our team for 1 full season. He only turned 21 in May and a loan to Galatasaray will not be appropriate an environment for preparation for the PL. if it was a lower tier club he could go to, I might reconsider. Better he get 10-12 games this Fall in Europa, League Cup and a couple PL matches and revisit in January.

  54. andy1886,

    Thanks for that – not exactly my area of expertise. It would be interesting to see what happened if S’s share value did fall mind you. Totally agree that AW has never liked spending huge quantities of cash and, in a sense, enjoyed the challenge of make so and end when we were proper cash strapped but somehow it feels over the last two or three seasons like there had been something more going on with transfer business than simply a refusal to dip into the pot on AWs side. I was thinking of the quote pointed comments he made about our ability to compete financially with other clubs – I could just be reading way too much into it. Hope the team starts playing a bit better soon anyhow…this ain’t fun just gets everyone wound up about stuff that is nothing to do with 11 men in red shirts kicking a football !

  55. andy1886,

    Hi Andy,

    In commending your appraisal of the likely movement of share values as a consequence of management decisions that are either beneficial to the club, or detrimental, I run the risk of sounding patronising – well you know what accountants are like – 🙂 but nevertheless you have it right.

    The only hole in the bucket is that share values move, as you indicated, when people buy or sell their shares under the stimulus of good or bad market vibes about the club’s profitability, but with only two major shareholders owning almost all of the shares between them, and neither inclined to sell — oddly, the only way is up for Arsenal shares as a result of this unfortunate private battle between the two men.

    A public listed company with thousands of shares has shareholders who invest or sell, based on normal business drives, whereas the shares in Arsenal are only likely to be sold, by one or both the current shareholders, to an outside party if they are offered a huge premium on the share values.

    This is not likely to be resolved any time soon.

  56. philmar,

    He only usually goes shopping in the ‘marked to clear’ section at the end of the transfer window if our results in the first few games of the season have been particularly poor. If we get our arses handed to us by Liverpool on Sunday I would expect a couple of players to turn up the end of the window. Looking at the list of deadwood players at the club now, they strike me as exactly the type of players Wenger would consider in the transfer market if they were at other clubs and he were in panic buy mode.

    If Ox has turned down the latest offer I think we have no choice but to sell him. I doubt we will see Ox being fully committed in his final season, so we have to ship him out now and move on. If we get £35m for him we would still have around £10m to spend on some more assorted crap and Wenger will still have balanced the transfer window books. Let’s all join Stan in congratulating Wenger for his sterling efforts in what must have been difficult times.

  57. C,

    When Wenger lends out players considered to be part of the first team squad, its not usually as part of their development, its with a view to shipping them out permanently.

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