Ox and Mustafi Out The Door, Sanchez To Follow – So, Arsène, What’s The Plan?

There’s a plan, isn’t there? We’re just little people and don’t grasp the complexities. Arsène is the Mayan chief, talking us through the wonders of the universe and explaining how things hold together. We’re minions; little yellow beings, beholden, wrapt in awe as he explains it all, to a chorus of, “oohs” and “aahs”.

The board asked him to explain his thinking. He put his arm around Ivan, wove a pattern across the skyline which dumbfounded the CEO in its complexities. The board quivered in the background, too scared to talk because they have nothing to say.

Stan on the other hand bought into Arsène’s plan straightaway. “Stan, I’ve got a great idea…”; the gold is safe in the Wenger edition of the Italian job. Kroenke sent a fleet of helicopters and rescued the bus. The bullion was loaded onto a ship and is now being used at Stan’s Texas ranch as sandbags against the advancing floodwaters.

That’s the plan.

The rest of it, we’re making up as we go along. Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea for £35m? Thank you very much for a player who was in the last year of his contract.

If the rationale for selling him was simply that, then I don’t really question it. I’m guessing the vibes weren’t good about him signing a new deal. Shoehorning Ox in at wing-back was a futile gesture of appeasement. If the result of this is Bellerin on the right and centre backs in the centre, is it a bad move for the club?

Meanwhile, Mathieu Debuchy – the only other specialist right back at the club – is offered to Brighton, as Wenger seeks to hasten their return to the Championship. Calum Chambers is the deputy right back, it appears.

Arsène Moves In Mysterious Ways

Well, he does. There’s no two ways about it. The logic which puts a player whose head is at Chelsea on the Anfield pitch and then relegates another to the Anfield bench because he’s thinking about Milan, baffles me. As does the sale of Shkodran Mustafi for around £15m less in cash than we paid. This, remember, is an inflated market and a player who we signed last summer.

This is where I hope we have a plan because we’ve been an utter shambles in the centre of our defence and with Mustafi missing two of those games, you can hardly pin the blame on him.

It’s shaping to be a busy week with Kieran Gibbs at the heart of a tug of love between Watford and West Brom, while Lucas Perez is heading to Deportivo. Selling Perez and Mustafi leaves a huge question mark over the scouting and recruitment team at the club.

As I write, reports break of the mathematical formula  for Chilean strikers has been found: Alexis Sanchez = Raheem Sterling plus some money. Whether there is truth in this remains to be seen; Arsenal maintain that there were no serious bids for Sanchez this summer – now there is one.

A big decision must be taken. Do we consciously write this season off and rebuild or try for a top four finish with what we have? The latter seems unlikely with just Sterling added while the former begs the question, what the hell has been going on at the club?

To get the answer, we must resolve the manager’s future. Is he to be given more than this season and next to achieve the rebuild? If not, lose him now and let someone come in to sort out the mess.

What’s The Plan, Stan?

The danger is that Arsenal are heading into the same mediocrity in which Kroenke’s other investments dwell. We’re the most successful KSE enterprise on and off the pitch. None of Kroenke’s other clubs is as high-profile or financially successful. The Rams are a cash drain at present and Arsenal underpins his balance sheet. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Can he be bought out and who by? Will it be any better? It’s hard to envisage it being worse. What Wenger needs is pressure internally. He’s over-ruled the other directors so it’s down to Stan to change his tune. That won’t happen; Wenger doesn’t rock the boat. He doesn’t demand huge funds to spend while he obfuscates to such an extent that we’re all left baffled.

Numbed minds make great crowds; applauding on cue, cheering on demand. These are the crowds Kroenke wants. His sporting M.O. is simple: great facilities draw in the crowds irrespective of on-the-pitch performances. Not in English football it doesn’t, or at least, not in the long-term.

This is our reality TV show: The Great Arsenal Bake-off. We ordered a nice cream cake but the plate’s been dropped and now it’s passed off as an Eton Mess.

’til Tomorrow.

159 thoughts on “Ox and Mustafi Out The Door, Sanchez To Follow – So, Arsène, What’s The Plan?

  1. This is a good illustration of the false and tenuous stability of stasis. It can evaporate if it isn’t really grounded in a club structure and culture of genuine values and vision. It is a mirage of dependence on one fallible person.

  2. Bugger!!!

    I come in late in the day and get greeted by “a good illustration of the false and tenuous stability of stasis”. — LSG what does that even mean?? 😀

    Stasis = a time of inactivity.

    How can that be ‘False’ or ‘Tenuous stabilty’ = weakly firm ?

    Your making it up — aren’t you? 😀

  3. Transfer headlines –
    Liverpool are prepared to spend up to £150m on Thomas Lemar and Virgil van Dijk, although their respective clubs, Monaco and Southampton, are reluctant to sell. In the Lemar deal, Liverpool may send Divock Origi on loan as part of a potential swap deal.
    Also at Liverpool, they have rejected a bid worth £22m plus £3m in add-ons from Crystal Palace for Mamadou Sakho. They want the total deal to be worth £30m.
    The Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City deal is alive, and it could include Raheem Sterling going to Arsenal. The mooted move might be £20m plus Sterling for Sanchez, who of course has only a year of his contract left to run.
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain does seem to be off to Chelsea, although at the time of writing that hasn’t been confirmed.
    Kieran Gibbs turned down a potential move to Watford, but he could be on his way to West Brom instead, for around £7m. Arsenal are also apparently interested in Jonny Evans, who remains a target for Manchester City and Leicester City.
    The Baggies look like they’ll be busy in the coming days: they’re set to sign Josef de Souza from Fenerbahce for £10.6m, and they might even have Eliaquim Mangala lined up as a replacement for Evans.
    Stoke have completed the signing of Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham for around £18m, are hopeful of signing Fabian Delph and are looking to rid themselves of midfielder Gianni Imbula, possibly to Monaco.

  4. andy1886,
    Good afternoon all. As is to be expected exceptional copy YW. I admire your ability to convey your thoughts.

    Andy ‘rumours’ have it that Mustafi and his Family have not settled in London.
    He has played in Italy previously.

    Could it have been that Sanchez and Ozils decision not to extend contracts was that they wanted to see what AW was going to do.

    He has resigned ( AW) for a further 2 years. Could it be that Sanchez and Ozil were possibly ‘happy’ to resign should Wenger have decided to leave and a new Manager appointed?

    Here is what I think is

    We should sack AW and bring Tuchel. Go out and sign Vidal.Yes he’s 29 and no resale value but he’s what we need In midfield right now. It could ” possibly ” sway Sanchez to stay.

    None of our current midfield options can do a job or are what I consider starters.


    The likes of J M Seri and Renato Sanches be signed.

    The attempt to build a team around Ozil is dead- flawed.AW has not signed the correct players to give him the platform to do his thing.
    The Players KNOW AW hates confrontation. This in turn creates a soft under belly that manifests itself in all manners. There was no Team morale conviction nothing.

    AW was hung out to dry by the players. This policy of appeasement and having favourites has come home to roost.

  5. If true, that’s fucking hilarious! 🙂

    They say Johnny Evans has told Arsenal thanks but no thanks, its either he goes to Citeh or stays put.

  6. What a complete fucking mess we are truly in. Has it ever been this bad? That season when we lost 8 2 to Utd and then ended up signing Arteta and that guy from Chelsea on loan (can’t for the life of me remember his name. ). That was bad but this, feel a whole new level.

    And here was I hoping we would keep Ox, Sanchez, and Ozil and also spend another £100m+ on CB and Lemar

  7. Yogi,

    Sorry for the slow reply but you comment about Swansea being a watershed got me thinking.

    I think that since 2008 there have been a number of watershed moments and less important ones but still significant . I believe that it all started with the Eduardo match in 2008 v Brum. It set a change of events in motion that culminated in us losing the Title. We have never challenged since.

    Sperz 2008 4-4 with 2 goals conceded in injury time.
    Hull 1-2 2008/9 loss at home. When did we last lose at home to a newly-promoted team?
    Fast forward to 2011 – 8-2 v ManU. Our worst defeat since 1896.
    4-4 Newcastle after being 4-0 up. The first time a team had blown a 4-0 lead in the Prem era.
    Swansea at home 0-2 in 2012 as you said, this was truly horrible.
    Villa at home in 2013 – our first opening day home loss for 20 years.
    Liverpool 5-1 in 2014
    Chelsea 6-0 in 2014. Wenger’s 1000th game.
    Bayern 10-2. The first English team to concede 200 goals in the CL. Heaviest aggregate defeat. The graphic illustration of how we were further away than ever to winning the CL.

    These are the ones that spring to mind but I am sure that I could find others.

    There is an old Caribbean saying: “If you do not hear, you will feel.” People have failed to hear for many years and are still failing to hear. We are all feeling it however.

  8. JonJon:
    i wonder if dortmund would consider ozil with all that dembele cash?

    Of course not – he’d break their wage structure. They’ll find and develop the next Aubemayang/Dembele/Levandoski at 10% of ozil’s wage and sell him on for a 100+ pounds in 2 years

  9. Jonny:
    Shunned by Johnny Evans – that’s a sobering indictment if e’er there was one.

    We probably couldn’t even coax Winston Bogarde out of retirement.

  10. philmar: We probably couldn’t even coax Winston Bogarde out of retirement.

    Great quote from Bogarde (who was some player at Ajax). “I may be the worst signing in Prem history. But I don’t care.”

  11. Ox was/is not worth keeping. Flatters to deceive, no end product and of late a propensity to sulk. Sanchez – he lost me when giggling away on the bench when we were being torn apart by Bayern. He did it again at anfield. As good as he is his attitude sucks. It’s all about alexis for him. This feels worse than 8-2 and all the other shockers. For years we have imploded, flattered to deceive and then just shown enough to scrap the odd cup or 4th. Then same old same old the following season. It doesn’t matter who we buy – with the regime at the top they will fail. I say that as someone who has defended wenger for a long time, primarily out of respect for what he did for the club and the changes he made.

    Arsenal represent all that is wrong with modern football. We are customers and it’s a corporate thing rather than sport. No loyalty from players. No playing for the shirt.

    We are so shit Jonny Evans gives us the swerve. That puts the cherry on top.

  12. Ras,

    Yes, we probably all recall that Ozil’s future was linked to Wenger’s decision but it wasn’t clear which way. Naturally the pro-Arsene people claimed he would only stay of Wenger did. That’s looking like a load of old bollocks now. Certainly the Ox and Alexis don’t seem to excited by developments, I suspect that they are not the only ones and we’ll have more of the same next summer.

    Jonny Evans? 😨 Look what you’ve done to the club Stan and Arsene 😡

  13. Arsenal will be able to attract new players, all we have to do is pay big wages. There are plenty of mercenary players out there who will take the big bucks to play for Arsenal. They won’t have any loyalty to the club and they may not give their best on the pitch, but they will sign on the dotted line. Many think Alexis is a mercenary, but if he were he would have signed up to the fat new wage deal offered and ticked along as a fan favourite. Alexis wants to win things, he wants the players around him to be putting in the effort and he wants to be a star. I don’t think he necessarily wants to be the only star, but he wants to be a big player in a successful team. He appears to have decided that Wenger and his management team don’t share his ambitions. Few would argue with him

  14. Arsenal have rejected a £50m bid for Sanchez from City.

    Only a matter of time before we agree to a deal.

  15. By the end of the transfer window Wenger will have cut the club’s wage bill and made a transfer profit. Well done Arsene, a pat on the back from Stan for you. Obviously just pushing the problems back, as the club won’t have any players left to sell for a healthy profit and won’t be generating revenue from our performances.

  16. Jonny,

    HI Jonny

    The reason I say Nevile absolves Wenger is because he is on record previously as saying Arsenal fans are wrong to criticize Wenger and that it’s the players who are to blame.

    In all the quotes you listed he berates the players but never states that the manager is at fault.

    I think he likes and probably respects Wenger and just cannot accept that Wenger is the source of the poor play on the pitch.

  17. Boy, I’m a goat. I thought that Arsene would be desperate to spend money this year to save his arse; nope, in fact, he’s desperate NOT to spend money to save his arse, because the bottom line is all that Stan cares about. What a betrayal of the fans.

  18. Stan bought the club because he saw lots of consumers who think they’re fans. That’s the reality, I’m afraid.

  19. imagine – when in a transfer window the likes of bournemouth are spending 20mil on players – we come out with a profit.

    i would piss myself laughing.

  20. I just read an article claiming Perez might now be staying?

    I couldn’t vouch for its veracity, but that would be a typical Wenger solution to Sanchez’s departure.

    Personally, although I know this would not be a popular opinion, I wouldn’t mind seeing Perez get more time to prove himself on the pitch if Wenger could bring himself to actually play him more than once in a blue moon.

  21. MikeSA,

    Can’t wait to see Wenger try and spin all this as a carefully considered and executed plan to produce a lean and efficient squad. And without that trademark smirk.

  22. MikeSA,

    I’ve been saying for a month or two that Arsene didn’t really want to move out Perez. He’s been playing some sort of game with the guy, but he’s always wanted to keep him (or at least hold him in reserve). I guess that makes sense that he wanted to keep Perez until he saw the situation with Sanchez.

    The interesting question is: was Perez always plan B (or was he C or D if Arsene couldn’t find a replacement high-profile player for Sanchez). I suspect Perez was always Plan B because Perez is the ONLY way to balance the books.

    Arsene is a seriously weird (and dishonest) guy.

  23. Arsene will keep Perez because he is not good enough for a big team and he can’t find a small team who wants to pay 3-4 years of Arsenal level wages for a 29 year old wth a very underwhelming career

  24. Two major transfer pieces of news both from Sky:

    Arsenal have decided to keep Mustafi.

    Ox has rejected the move to Chelsea because he is waiting for Liverpool.

  25. Bill,

    Wrong, Deportivo is waiting for Arsenal to stop with thr fee, his wages and all have been agreed. You said the same thing about other players yet Gabriel and Gibbs have both left. More to that, at NO POINT has it ever been about wages with Perez, it waa Arsenal and the fee and Arsene not letting him go.

  26. C,

    The Ox is made for Klopp, because he’s all pace and power. Klopp might make him a seriously good player. Smart move for the Ox.

  27. C,

    There are even reports that Deportivo have offered Perez an 11 year contract (he’ll be the technical director at the end of it!). which suggests they think a lot of his character and smarts.

  28. C,

    I’d be happy to keep Mustafi, as for the Ox he clearly isn’t going to perform so we really have to do a deal with Liverpool one way or another. Likewise Alexis, he’s clearly no longer interested. Imagine being stuck paying wages for those two who don’t want to play for the club and then watching them walk for free. If Wenger believes that they will still be professional then he really has lost it. Perhaps he should watch a replay of the game on Sunday.

  29. freddo,

    Problem Ox faces though is his end product, Salah Mane and Firmino all have end product not to mention Sturridge when fit plus Coutinho.

  30. andy1886,

    I hope and want to keep Mustafi and clearly doesn’t make sense to lose him. Ox, well that showing was abysimal and the funny thing is, if he wants Liverpool move, well watching those front 3, he doesm’t get in there and in midfield Cann and Wjanidum are better players with both also tireless workers. I couldn’t imagine keeping both Sanchez and Ox but if I had to choose one it would be Sanchez though both have that sulking streak in them, Sanchez is much more likely to at least give it a go where Ox has shown he simply won’t even attempt to go through the motions.

  31. C,

    Yup, and we’re in a sticky position now. Liverpool could offer us peanuts and we’d have the choice of that or keeping a player that doesn’t give a toss. I expect that he’s burned his bridges at Chelsea if the report is true and it’s likely they offered the best deal. If they don’t like the deal then Klopp can tell him they’ll take him for free next summer.

  32. So if Liverpool do try to screw us I’d leave him to rot in the reserves all season. Of course Wenger wouldn’t, he’ll be convinced (incorrectly) that we can still get him to make an effort.

  33. And in all of this Gazidis shouldn’t get away without criticism. Allegedly he’s our CEO, so WTF is he doing allowing this complete farce to carry on? If the answer is that he cannot do anything about it then what is the point of Ivan Gazidis at Arsenal Football Club? Just another waster along for the ride.

  34. andy1886,

    Early start of late finish mate?

    Sadly, as much as a try I can’t help but lie awake and think about the nonsense AFC is becoming. Suppose I should be lucky I don’t have anything troubling me that’s serious! As much as I try to distance myself from it all though, the tentacles of the unbreakable tie are long and always find a way to latch a hold and pull me back in

  35. freddo:

    ……….which suggests they think a lot of his character and smarts.

    which is probably exactly why Wenger doesn’t like him.

  36. Personally I’d love to see the following under a manager who actually knows what he’s doing:






  37. MikeSA,

    That’s exactly who I’d play: two solid midfielders and three creative types up front (plus Welbeck to drag the defenders around and run in behind). I really do think Welbeck has a lot of goals in him, in the right set-up.

  38. Ozil should be cut loose and Welbeck will never have hatfuls of goals in him at club level. He just doesn’t have that knack of moving the ball into the goal. I used to think he needed a run and a lucky break to get on a scoring streak. Tend to think he just doesn’t have it in him. Sorry

  39. Damon,

    Personally I disagree about Ozil.

    I think he takes a lot of flack because, like Song, he doesn’t look like he’s running around like a headless chicken, which is what EPL supporters seem to value.

    Given a mobile front line who moves into space WITHOUT the ball, he’d shine.

    I think people don’t understand his role or his strengths, and then berate him for not doing what he isn’t supposed to do in the first place.

    A manager who selected a team based on a tactical plan and on actual performance, would reveal an entirely different player.

    In terms of Welbeck, his work rate and speed is what I’d select him on, not his goal scoring, that would be what Lacazette and Perez would be there for.

    People seem to forget that towards the end of the GG era we only had Wright banging them in, so I don’t see Welbeck’s shortcomings in that regard overshadowing his considerable attributes.

  40. I think our squad is a serious load better than what we see from them under Wenger.

    As such, I think judging most of the players on their performances in Wengers’ “system”, is misguided.

    Even Ramsey, who I REALLy don’t like as a player because his decision making is just too slow and who seems to be way too fond of his own press, would probably be a much better player under a manager who wasn’t afraid to tell him to cut out the fancy Dan rubbish and play to a tactical plan.

  41. MikeSA,

    The problem is that we just don’t play in a way that would get the best out of Ozil. We talk about other players playing poorly because they are out of position, but seem to think that we should carry on doing it with Ozil. We don’t play a mobile attack anymore, or if we do it is usually in one or two games (or even for a short spell in a game) when we seem to remember what Arsenal used to be about. Now we play possession football and play the ball around, hoping for an opening. We also have Ramsey pushing up into the attacking line which means that Ozil drops back and is even less effective.

    Again with Welbeck your argument makes more sense if Welbeck is acting as the second striker for the main man to feed off, but we just don’t play in that way. Welbeck ends up being the man on the end of the ball, but so often his touch and composure seem to let him down. When you think how many times the ball came to Welbeck in the Liverpool game, it’s incredible that we didn’t get a single shot on target. Welbeck could work in the role you suggest, but we just don’t play in that way.

    Unfortunately none of that will change and we will keep doing exactly the same thing with Wenger in charge. I have said on many occasions that another manager would get more out of our existing squad of players.

  42. MikeSA,

    It might be early doors, but we’ve signed Lacazette, played Welbeck in the front three. A mobile couple of players that run in behind? If they’re not, I’d be interested to hear your views on what is please?

    I’ve not seen one passage of play to suggest that Ozil’s game has benefitted from a different set of personnel around him. In fact, he’s been worse. I understand your point, but I wholeheartedly don’t buy into the concept of a marquee player being poor for months/years bar very small patches because the players around him aren’t doing what he needs.

    Either make them do what you need, or do something else.

    To counter your point about running around, his stats actually show that he runs about an awful lot and makes more tackles than our midfielders who should be tackling (not hard when they don’t make a single one in an entire game). But that isn’t what he should be doing. I can’t recall the last time he took my breath away and carved a defence open all in one touch. Heck, I think he delivers a pretty poor dead ball these days tbh. I just don’t see what he brings to this team. It would seem as well that the football world agree with me. No one wants him apart from Arsenal. If I were him, I’d sign that silly contract they put in front of him. I can’t see him getting £300k a week anywhere else. The way this week is panning out, he might even increast that here, as AFC panics and needs something to roll out as positive.

    I’ll agree that this squad is far less than the sum of it’s parts, but Ozil is definitely part of that problem and he has to shoulder some of the responsibility for that. I know the retort is to say he’s not that sort of player, but all great players can adapt, or facilitate change around them to adapt to what they need.

  43. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    This club must think that their fans are the most gullible mugs on the planet. I see that the Daily Shite (sorry, Star) have a piece on why AFC have to sell Sanchez because his terrible attitude is upsetting the dressing room. How stupid do they think we are??!!! Why do they spin all this clear and obvious garbage to try and excuse their own failings? How many times can they put out this and other stories like the ‘War Chest’ (how is that one panning out by the way?).

  44. Anyone seen Chambers recently? His fate seems to be flying under the radar right now, hard to decide if he’s on his way (possibly on loan) or if there’s another reason for that.

  45. Damon,

    Very much agree with that. I think we´re done with Ozil and its time to try something new.
    Maybe the nr 10 is Ramseys and he can be moved from cmf and we´d get a functional midfield?

    This shoehorning of favorite players has been at the detriment for the team for some time. The benefits of a solid midfield is there for all to see.

    Yes, we might regret losing Ozil as the teams firepower vanishes but we do know that playing Ramsey and Ozil gives us a very soft underbelly which is there to be exploited for any team of some stature.

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