Distraction Techniques and Economic Lies: Transfer Strategy at Arsenal

For Gazidis and Wenger, it’s a welcome respite. Transfer talk always distracts from the fundamental issues plaguing the club, even if the departures are happening precisely because of those problems.

Alexis is leaving because he recognises the club at present is a busted flush and there’s no energy or enthusiasm to change it. We’re broken and will remain so until Arsène leaves. We all know that, even those who boxed themselves into a corner with their proclamations of unswerving loyalty to the boss.

But that transfer, Alexis’ departure underlines everything about Arsenal which is wrong at present. We’re swimming in a sea of apathy; nobody is genuinely upset by the best player in the squad leaving. For Manchester United. I remember the bile and viciousness of Stapleton going, to a lesser extent it happened with Anderson as well. The attempted poaching of Adams brought Ferguson opprobrium. More recently van Persie. Where’s the anger at losing another good player? To them?

Wenger’s words from the time of the Dutchman’s departure – I think it was after we’d played them at Old Trafford – were reported as he would never sell to United again. Wrong, he said he’d never sell to Ferguson again. And he didn’t, but selling to Mourinho is more painful, surely? Wasn’t Ashley Cole enough?

But we shouldn’t be doing any kind of deal with a makeweight. Don’t they remember the pain of “United rejects” we’ve signed in the past? It’s been one-way traffic with our best players leaving for Old Trafford and cast-offs coming the other way. Jim Leighton, for God’s sake. Silvestre and I don’t think Danny Welbeck has been a resounding success. Not when you think they’ve taken the cream of our players.

Jilted at the Altar

We know the Alexis situation has been handled badly by Arsenal. It’s easy to say that we should have sold two years ago, but coming off the back of second place, a summer of investment could have seen us challenging. That we didn’t underlines the ineptitude of the club’s hierarchy.

Selling two years ago was never an option because football doesn’t work like that. Selling last summer was an option we should have taken. Arsène said at the time and subsequently that we couldn’t sell, we’re a big club and we’ve got the economics to withstand letting him walk away.

We obviously don’t because we’re selling him now. If we could afford to let him walk on a free, that’s what he would be doing next summer. We would then spend close to £200m on replacing him and strengthening the squad without blinking an eye. We can’t do that, we don’t have the money.

Fair enough, that’s the position we’re in, but why try to portray it as otherwise? We haven’t gained anything by keeping Alexis for six months, beyond losing £25m. We didn’t want Mkhitaryan in the summer, he’s only coming now because Wenger needs a wide midfielder.

He’s the insurance policy; more likely to replace Theo Walcott than Sanchez. Ornstein from the BBC reckons Theo’s deal is done. Yes, that Ornstein, the only who blotted his copybook with last summer’s war chest. But we’ll let him off if this one happens.

Will we get Malcom or Aubameyang? Who knows; I’ll believe it when I see it. Both were players linked to Sven Mislintat, the same as Mavropanos and Mkhitaryan. Someone brought a copy of the Dortmund database with him. He’s Buford T Justice and Wenger is Junior.

Does anyone know if Sven has coaching badges?

Syrup

Arsenal’s board doesn’t act quickly. They take a long-term view but really, it’s impotence in putting things right. Kroenke is the decision-maker in this sense and is unenthusiastic about change. This is an investment and Wenger is inconsequential to that, beyond not taking on debt to fund transfers.

If Stan could find another manager willing to work under those conditions, he still wouldn’t. Wenger is the lightning rod at the moment and Kroenke knows he is the next target. Arsenal may become KSE’s toxic brand. It feels like that is the only way to force Wiggy out of the club. Put him in a position whereby the value of the brand declines or he feels he has to sell.  Then I suppose we’ll have to be careful what we wish for over new owners.

Always being careful what we wish for, Arsenal supporters…

’til Tomorrow.

98 thoughts on “Distraction Techniques and Economic Lies: Transfer Strategy at Arsenal

  1. The ‘oracle’ Ornstein said,

    Everton close to agreement with Arsenal to sign Theo Walcott for in excess of £20m. #EFC football/financial offer beat rivals. Likely played last #AFC game (397 apps, 108 goals). Money to go towards transfers – Aubameyang/Malcom + Mkhitaryan (Sanchez swap), unlikely to get all 3.

  2. Mkhitaryan’s agent has spoke and said:

    “Manchester United is not going to sign Sánchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal,” announced Raiola, speaking to The Times.

    “Mkhi has not decided yet. Mkhi is going to do what is best for him. He has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, so it’s his decision.”

  3. As far as transfers go, I mean this is crazy how shambolic this who situation has become and I’m not just talking about the Sanchez stuff but the whole thing. Look, I am trying to remain as optimistic as I can but the reality of the situation is that its a giant cluster fuck. I mean we are a team devoid of attackers yet we are selling them in the hopes of signing their replacements not the other way around.

    I mean I love Mhkitaryan as a player but he is about to turn 29 years old so he shouldn’t even be in the equation. We should be going to sign Dembele of Celtic who is a goal scorer, big quick strong and has performed in the CL but is also a player that has been a winger. I mean we are about to sell Theo, sell Sanchez, Welbeck is apparently in talks with Besitkas, Giroud has been offered for Aubameyang. On top of that Jack and Ozil are still kinda just floating about with reports in Italy saying Juve want Ozil and JAck having been offered less money but more incentives.

  4. Everything but the medical seems to have been completed for Theo’s move to Everton for a fee of around £20m.

  5. Bordeaux President has come out about Malcom to Arsenal:

    “Things are clear with his agents. We did not sign him to an extension and tie him to something, to let him go this winter. We have never had a discussion with Arsenal.

    “From our point of view, it is nothing but hot air.

    “They can always try, but they will struggle to take him from us.”

  6. C:
    What if Sanchez stays………..

    Not impossible given the suggestion that the entire deal hinges on Mkhytarian who is believed to have doubts.

    Can’t see how he plays for us again. If his commitment was in doubt last weekend then equally it is in doubt until season end.

  7. Steve,

    I actually think its looking more and more likely that he might stay because I don’t see Mhkitaryan agreeing to join Arsenal unless we offer him a significant pay packet. If that happens, it will be a massive cock up by Arsenal.

    Strange thing is, I wonder if Arsene didn’t play him because he hoped two things: 1. that the XI he picked would walk Bournemouth and 2. the Sanchez deal would be done and dusted that day and over with.

  8. C,

    If he honestly thought the weakened team he picked would walk Bournemouth when analysed with the fact that he thought the under strength side he picked a week earlier would beat Forest then he no longer knows what he is doing.

  9. Great post Yogi

    Squad building includes transfer acquisition, wage management, youth development etc etc. All aspects should be part of a strategic plan to improve the team. However to me the utter shambles that has developed in the last couple of seasons with the bloated squad filled with over paid underperforming assets and allowing your single most critical player to run out his contract is proof positive just how poorly the club has been managed in this decade. Despite the fact that we have a lot more money to spend then at anytime in club history, The top to bottom talent level of the squad has clearly eroded. Its further evidence of poor squad management. I generally avoid profanity but I have to agree with C’s choice of cluster f**k as the appropriate descriptive term

  10. YW,

    Sky and BBC are reporting it, I am with you, its a fucking horrible deal! The other thing that I saw was that Arsene and Arsenal wanted Mkhitarayan so they offered Sanchez and if you go by Raiola, it sure sounds like Arsene and Arsenal wanted Mkhitarayan so they dangled Sanchez.

    This whole situation just keeps getting weirder and weirder but seemingly worst and worst.

    The funny part about all of this is the fact that Europe as a whole has banged on about Citeh spending money and the whole reason that Citeh pulled out is because of the wages and agent fee of Sanchez and his team.

  11. YW,

    Bloody awful, but so very Arsenal. I don’t want him, why can’t we just take the money? Auba is the only one of the three mentioned that I’d want on the basis that even Arsene might take time to strip the goals from his game. Mkhi’s lightweight and Malcom is another Wenger midget that would find that scoring goals in the PL is a damn sight harder than it is in Ligue 1.

  12. Players like Malcom and Mkhitaryan would both help to increase the depth of our squad which is always a good thing. However, neither of them would provide the goal scoring player that we really need and both would just add another light weight player who has technical skill but does not score a lot of goals. Our squad is full to brim with players like that. Neither of them is a “Sanchez replacement”. Either of them would probably play as one of the wide forwards and replicate the contributions we get from Iwobe or Welbeck or Joel Campbell. Ozil would have to be moved to the opposite wide forward. That leaves us with 2 out of 3 forwards who are not much of a threat to score and we will be reliant on Lacazette to score the vast majority of our goals. Lacazette is a nice player but he can’t carry the team by himself. This is exactly the sort of dysfunctional squad building strategy which has put us into our current position of hoping to hold on to 6th place.

  13. If the deal falls through now not one party comes out of it in any way positively – we look like chumps as we have done throughout the entire saga beginning late August 2017, United look like chumps for failing so publicly to get the deal across the line while more or less publicly wiping their hands of Mkhytarian, Sanchez looks like an incredibly greedy footballer based on the reported sums of money he and his agent are looking for clearly prioritising being even richer than already being super rich over the chance of playing for the best side in the country and with a realistic CL chance this season.

    Actually quite amazingly City come out of the whole thing looking the best for their new found responsible outlook on spending money. I can’t see them going back for him in the summer either given how he has manoeuvred in the past week or so.

  14. BILD in Germany are reporting that Aubameyang has handed in a transfer request.

    The other part of this is just how little attacking talent that we do have when you take away Sanchez and Ozil from this squad. Lacazette I feel bad for because he is being forced to do it all on his own and no way this is what he signed up for. I think he has goals in him and quite a lot but he needs service and quite frankly, I think managers have just decided that they will mark him out of the game and let Iwobi and Welbeck beat them and they simply can’t. With Theo an Everton player now (its a foregone conclusion) and Giroud looking like a player Arsenal don’t want; our attack is looking quite shaky and that is me being nice.

  15. Andy

    I’m not even that impressed with Ptang Yang Kipperbang; don’t see he and Lacazette fitting together. However, what do I know? I haven’t managed a thousand games.

  16. YW,

    Depends if AW has ruined Lacazette yet, wouldn’t surprise me if he stuck him out on the wing at some point, he loves that little trick with his strikers.

  17. Hi C,

    It is possible that you are letting your emotions cloud your usually impeccable judgement.

    Miki’s agent knows he is pissed off that he is thrown into the deal like some salt on a steak — so he turns it on its head — Miki is the main point of the deal, and Sanchez is the make-weight.

    Of course we are supposed to believe that bullsh*t — because that is why all the top clubs want Sanchez for ridiculous money, and could not give a stuffed fig for Miki who cannot get in to the Manure team most of the time — like Theo at Arsenal.

    What is seriously wrong with the whole thing goes back to the incredibly stupid handling of the players’ contracts, where so many fall due for renewal pretty much at the same time.

    The result is that no one is in control of the Sanchez transfer – not Citeh, not Manure, not ‘Pool, not Chelsea — and definitely not the Arsenal —- the only one pulling all those strings is ………. Sanchez.

    You know that is true. The new guy when he comes in — will pretty quickly stop all that contract renewal at the same time bollocks — or 18 months out will sell anyone who hasn’t signed an extension.

    I do not blameSanchez and his agent — good luck to them for all the millions they are getting — but it should never be allowed to happen again with anyone else — altho I guess Özil might be the next and last to try that on.

  18. Man Utd can play hardball now. Take the swap now and get a player or get nothing when Sánchez walks in the summer.

    Sounds like a dream situation to me. Maureen doesn’t give a monkeys for pissing off one of his players who he has already discarded and he has Arsenal over a barrel.

  19. HenryB,

    I do think that his Mkhitarayan’s agent is arrogant little shit but I also think that with that they also have leverage given he has 2 years(I think I read) left on his contract so if he doesn’t want to go to Arsenal then he doesn’t go.

    Sure, Sanchez holds the cards and its why Citeh pulled out of the deal because of that and I’m sure somebody will stump up the money for him or they will wait for the summer and get him for a free.

    As far as the contracts go, I think contracts will be rewarded to not only those that want to sign on but those that are in the plan going forward. I think the 2 biggest tells of what Arsenal will look like is obviously Jack and Ozil; part of me thinks that both want to stay but the other part of me is that they are simply waiting to see what happens. I don’t blame Jack, Ozil or Sanchez for any of this because if we were truly building and they felt like things were moving in the right direction they would have signed. I mean look at the Spuds players and even the Chelsea players coming out and wanting to sign and stay (well Kane we will see but the rest).

    This is shaping up to either be a disaster of a window or one where miraculously things and players work themselves out and I would say that if we ended up with Aubameyang replacing Sanchez that its actually a win for Arsenal.

  20. HenryB,

    Yup, Theo finishing his medical. I know people will kill him for his time at Arsenal and saying he never reached his potential but he is one player that injuries robbed him of one of his greatest assests and I think, given a run of matches, he could still easily score 10-15 PL goals in a season as a winger.

  21. C,

    Bollocks. We both appreciate what Theo brings….goals or assists in half his games… His crime is he isn’t the greatest technically.
    He isn’t part of our deadwood by any stretch. Its just the club want the his wages gone. Barstads.

  22. Theo’s crime was speaking a bit of the truth and so he fell out of Wenger’s good books and he has had so little game time since then in the premier league and he has lost some of his sharpness. Overall it would be good to see him go to Everton and if ge begins to play better, then it would be another glaring case of mismanagement.

  23. C,

    Reports state that Mikitarian salary is 200,000.00 a week. Question C we you want to jo Arsenal in their current state?

    YW referred to the situaion as a sea of Apathy. Me I’d describe it as fess pit of her inomptency😑.

    If it were Me and I were Sanchez I would sit tight until the end of the season. I would then join City.

    Mourinho move is simply to thwart City signing. It the move goes through I’d be very surprise by Sanchez.

    The Club is well and truly in a mess.

  24. Dukey,

    Yup, its something that both you and I appreciated and its what made this season thus far so frustrating; the fact that Welbeck and Iwobi keep getting rolled out yet neither are the threat of Theo.

    Yup, he isn’t the greatest with the ball at his feet but with a team that has Ozil, Jack, Lacazette and Sanchez (previously), he didn’t need to be good on the ball, hell he didn’t even have to touch it until he was in shooting distance.

  25. C @ 3:15

    “Lacazette I feel bad for because he is being forced to do it all on his own and no way this is what he signed up for. I think he has goals in him and quite a lot but he needs service”

    Stop and think about it for a second and doesn’t it seem strange to suggest that Lacazette regularly plays with Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey, Sanchez, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Iwobe who all have a high level of technical skill and passing ability and yet you suggest that he is lacking in proper service. Most neutrals would think we have easily one of the best group of service providers in the entire league. Compare our group of service providers to the ones that Harry Kane or Mo Salah play with.

    In this decade we have had arguably the best group of pure service providers in the league and yet all of the goal scorers we have brought in to the club from outside who are not named Sanchez have all seen a significant decrease in their goal scoring efficiency. I understand that we need more talented scorers however, the ones we buy almost inevitably get worse when they come to Arsenal. How can you see that happening and still not question the philosophical idea of building our team around service providers like Ozil or Wilshere?

  26. Hi Bill

    Just one small observation.

    A heavy focus on stats and consequent disregard for creative play through the midfield by a certain Colonel spawned the much derided long-ball-game.

  27. On paper I think almost anyone would argue that our group of service providers is better then Spurs but yet they outscore us and they provide a platform for the most prolific striker in Europe in calendar 2017. I am not trying to suggest that having good service providers is a bad thing but I think service for the strikers can come from anywhere on the pitch and you don’t need to fill your critical positions with players who are purely service providers. Using your financial firepower to build a club around players whose main role is providing service is a fundamentally flawed approach to squad building.

  28. C,

    I saw a twitter analysis of Theo’s goals and assists — can’t remember where, (name?) but it bore out our view about Theo — has has more goals per game and more assists than anyone else at Arsenal over his career.

    Of course — the point was then also made that he was offside some 6,507,332 times – or something like that. Of course that bit is clearly wrong — we all know he was only offside 6,507,331 times!! 😀

    As regards Sanchez – it was not Arsenal asking for Miki – it was Maureen who was pushing it as he does not want him – and it would reduce the cash payment for Sanchez.

    If push came to shove — like AW telling him he can stick Miki — I think Manure would pay the full asking price in cash.

  29. C,

    {ACLF is acting up — this is the third attempt to send this to you, re ‘Pool’s interest in Sanchez, and what with Chelsea in the background too, it might explain the delay, but it got lost — so here it is again

    The Reds, (Pool) are keen to meet the fee (£35m) considering they have cash to splash following Philippe Coutinho’s £142million move to Barcelona.

    However, Alexis’ wages could be a stumbling block, with City offering £290,000-per-week, and United £350,000 as per The Sun.

    Should Liverpool manage to win the battle for the signature of the former Barcelona man and Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer, they can be rest assured of having the best attack in the land.

    Alexis brings a lot of quality to the table, and he would be the perfect replacement for Coutinho given that he can also play behind the striker apart from the left wing and upfront.

    Adding a player of his status could be the final piece of the jigsaw needed to finally win the Premier League.

    Just wish they pull their fingers out and get on with it either way!

  30. Hi, Yogi,

    I submitted a comment 3/4 times and each time it ‘disparu-ed’.

    I had other stuff open and using wi-fi so it did not appear to be that — but as I am totally unfair in these situations, and know sod all about tech stuff — I blamed ACLF for wantonly rejecting my wonderfully interesting comment. So there !!!! 😀

  31. MikeSA

    How can we be lacking in creative play thru midfield in this decade when we have Özil and Wilshere/Ramsey on the pitch at the same time.

    To me the problem is that pure creativity is not effective in breaking down the defense if we give the opposition time to set up and organize. The reason a team without the same group of creative players can be a much more effective attacking team is because they get the ball to their scorers in dangerous positions before the defense sets up. If you do that then you don’t need to fill the pitch with purely creative players who are not a threat to score and don’t add much to the team defense.

    I hope that makes sense.

  32. I think lacazaette is a decent finisher but despite the high Le ever technical and passing skill in our squad he is not getting the ball in positions that give him high percentage chances to score

  33. HenryB,

    Yea Theo’ goals and assists are actually better than most realize and that doesn’t take into account the 2 full years he was basically out, first through his knee and then various other injuries.

    I think the thing with Theo that left a bad taste in most Gooner’s mouth was the contract stuff and then the CF dream.

    Sanchez, well that is just a giant cluster fuck. I think Mhkitarayan is unwanted by Mourinho, yes I agree with you on that but I do wonder if Arsene asked about him. I mean based on reports Arsene personally asked for Martial and was told ‘fuck off’ so that would have been the second option player-wise.

    I guess we will find out because Mhkitarayan looks like he has no interest in coming to Arsenal.

  34. Bill,

    Just case a player is good on the ball doesn’t make him both technical nor make him a provider. Anybody watching futbol knows that Ramsey isn’t a a provider, Iwobi is eradict, Xhaka struggles. Sead was good for us until Arsene dropped him and yes we have Jack and Ozil but again, Jack nor Ozil can do it by themselves. You have this disdain for creative players that makes no because more often than not if you play with 2 strikers one of them is more than likely to be the more creative of the two; and you CONSTANTLY reference Spuds, Liverpool, Citeh and Fergie’s teams without acknowledging that Spuds have Dembele, Alli, Ericksen and Son, Liverpool have Firmino, Coutinho, Wjandinum and Mane, Citeh have De Bruyne, Sane, Sterling and Silva and Fergie’s teams had Ronaldo, Scholes, Rooney, Tevez, Carrick, and quite a few others.

    Just because those players are there doesn’t mean they are providing a pipeline.. I mean FFS how many times do we talk about Ramsey and Iwobi having no end product; end product isn’t just goals but is creating chances, assists, etc..

    I don’t want to go down this path because we know that we are NEVER going to agree

  35. Fuck us up our arse. Who gives a fuck anymore really. We’re an a absolute joke. Get the bubble machines out down there, we’re the new west ham.

  36. Bill,

    Your list of “providers” includes Sanchez – who tries to thread the ball through the eye of a needle and often fails, Iwobi – who gets into the box and hasn’t a clue what to do with the ball, Xhaka – who has been a massive disappointment and Ramsey – who tries to make a nuisance of himself in the box, but usually screws it up.
    If you are suggesting that on paper they look like a hugely gifted group of goal makers, I would agree, but in practice most of them have not been given the coaching to develop from talented youngsters into effective players. All of our closest rivals have made a much better job of developing their talented young players into assist machines.

    There seem to be a lot of names potentially heading out of the door in this window, many of them from our forward line, but so far I haven’t seen any indication that we are close to any player who is actually likely to come to us. It appears that we will be left with a hugely fucked off Sanchez at the end of the window, having also sold Walcott. Given that our remaining up front options are Iwobi and Welbeck with an out of favour Giroud as back up, I’d say that the remainder of the season is going to be pretty bleak.

  37. Now its pretty much official, Theo to Everton. The thing that I don’t think most realize is that even with Theo being frozen out it seemed he is still 4th on the team with 6 goals in all competitions and last season he finished 2nd on the team with 19 goals in all competitions DESPITE being completely frozen out of the team after mid-January.

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/905651/Theo-Walcott-Everton-medical-Finch-Farm-Arsenal-transfer-sportgalleries

  38. I don’t have disdain for creative players in general but I do question the logic of a team philosophy that is built around breaking down opponents with technical skill, creativity and passing ability. I also question the logic of filling 1/2 or more of the few critical goal scoring positions in our first 11 and over loading the 25 man squad with players who have a relatively high level of technical and passing skill but are not goal threats and don’t add a lot on the defensive end of the pitch.

  39. C

    As you often point out he can be an effective player despite being on of the least technically skilled players of the Wenger era. As Dukey points out Theo was shut out because of his lack of technical and passing skill. I think that philosophy is fundamentally flawed.

  40. Think it might be good for Theo coming to Everton and Big fat Sam. That it will suit him rather well. He won’t be asked to to do things that are not in his locker.

    He’ll be playing with lots of space in a counter attacking team with defensive solidity and and with no defensive responsibility.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores or assists 8-10 goals for Everton for the remainder of the season.

  41. Bill,

    Yes, technically with the ball at his feet he doesn’t offer nearly as much but he is a goal scoring technician so in that sense, yes he is technical just not like an Ozil, or Jack. He was effective, sure he went missing and would disappear for long stretches of a match and be infuriating when it comes to things as a futboler that one would suspect a professional should know how to do, but he offers more than Welbeck and Iwobi.

  42. YW,

    Yogi, it sounds like Dean as an official should be suspended. His report read as follows:

    “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’. He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying ‘you’re not honest’ on numerous occasions. I replied ‘so you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’.

    “He then said ‘you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.”

    Honestly, were adults and while I don’t EVER condone ref abuse, I do think that its part of the ref’s duty to talk to players and managers alike and be able to explain themselves for the decisions that they make and thus far all I have heard is Dean complain.

  43. Theo was a decent player. 1 goal in every 4 games is pretty good for a winger. But I think it’s a good deal – he’s lost his pace and without that he doesn’t really have much to offer.

    Suspect someone on here has the actual figure but based on what we sold and bought in the summer and Walcott and Le Coq we must be at least £30m in the black and taken off a good couple of £100k pw off the wage build.

  44. C

    You can’t have it both ways. You were a huge fan of Xhaka and he does have technical skill and he can make some really good passes. You tell me that guys like Bellerin, Ozil, Wilshere, Kolasinac Mustafi Nacho Elneny Maitland-Niles are top quality players they have the talent to match up with most teams in the world but then you downplay them when it does not fit the current argument. Either those players are really good or they are not. For me the one thing that Arsene demands when he picks players is relatively high level technical and passing skill which is why a player like Theo gets shut out.

  45. C

    I don’t like Dean either but 19 other Premier League managers are able to hate him without calling him dishonest (to his face) so why is there any surprise Wenger got banned? Every time he is in trouble with the FA or UEFA, it seems it’s for calling everyone cheats.

  46. Hi Bill

    I might be wrong, but I suspect you’ve misunderstood the context of my earlier comment.

    I wasn’t suggesting that any of the Wenger Arsenal teams lacked creative players, I was noting your comments that seem to suggest creative midfielders are not an asset to a team.

    I was just mentioning that in the past (somewhere around the 70s or 80s off the top of my head), that that line of thinking and statistical analysis culminated in what was then (and still is), known as the “long ball game”, which still finds favour with Allardyce, Pulis et al, and for which Wimbledon were famous (they were also serious thugs).

    Stats can at times be misleading, depending on how they’re perceived, as that particular saga highlighted.

  47. Yes Mike Dean is a pompous pillock but Wenger always comes across as a petulant little child in these situations. Given that we’ve been here many times before you have to say it’s another example of a situation where he simply does not learn.

  48. MikeSA,

    Think that you’re referring to Charles Hughes’ theory of POMO (position of maximum opportunity) ideas of the early to mid eighties. The idea being to get the ball into these goal scoring positions as often and as quickly (three passes maximum) as possible. A complete load of nonsense of course but then again so is playing fifty passes around the edge of the box before losing the ball without even getting a shot in.

  49. The last time I looked at the numbers the spurs were 19th on the list of PL spenders over a 5 year period. If you are going to say that Spurs have plenty of technical skill and creativity in their squad then I would argue that adequate creativity is relatively easy to find and does not cost a whole lot. I question the logic of a philosophy that uses the major portion of its financial firepower to acquire creative players. I question the logic of offering a new high wage long term contract to Ozil and making him by far your highest wage player when he brings nothing to the table other then creativity.

  50. It’s heroic to some because they lay the blame for all of our woes at the door of an anti-Arsenal refereeing conspiracy. Yes, completely delusional, but what else is there for them to fall back on? They can’t entertain any other factors.

  51. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fill your forward line with players who are like Mane or Salah or even the 2011-13 version of Walcott who can provide service to their teammates but also offer a significant goal scoring threat?

  52. Sanchez was probably the one player on our squad who combined the ability to provide service to his team mates and offered a goal scoring threat. Unless money is no object I question the logic replacing him with players like Mkhitaryan or spending $45M on Malcom. We need to focus our financial firepower to buy about 3-4 more players who are more like Sanchez

  53. Bill,

    I wish I had more time but the short answer is ALL the BEST teams in thr world are filled with the most technically gifted players and best passers but they are technical in their own ways. Anyways, Im off, until tomorrow

  54. For a long time we heard that Mourinho would go after Ozil but suddenly he has switched to Sanchez. Obviously its hard to know what Mourinho is actually thinking but I suspect part of the reason for going after Sanchez rather then trying to unsettle Ozil is he is smart enough to realize that a player like Sanchez is more likely to help improve his teams ability to get results.

  55. andy1886,

    You’re quite correct, that’s exactly what I was referring to.

    That said, I’m not advocating the 50 gazillions passes either, I just made the comment because I thought Bill might be heading in a particular direction with his thoughts.

  56. C:
    Bill,

    I wish I had more time but the short answer is ALL the BEST teams in thr world are filled with the most technically gifted players and best passers but they are technical in their own ways.Anyways, Im off, until tomorrow

    We also have plenty of technically gifted players who are very good passers. The difference we tend to our first 11 and our whole squad with players who are technically gifted and good passer but don’t add a goal threat and they don’t add much on the defensive end of the pitch. I know I pick on Ozil and Xhaka a lot but they are is the best examples. Ozil takes up one of our critical goal scoring positions on the pitch but he does not offer a goal scoring threat or anything on the defensive end. As you point out a lot of other teams such as spurs and Liverpool get plenty of creativity from all over the pitch without having to resort to using a an incredibly expensive purely creative player who doesn’t add anything else to the team.

  57. Bill,

    3,5,5,8,13,7 yup thats Coutinho’s PL goals scored in his 6 seasons at Liverpool.

    5,4,6,8,4 yup thats Ozil’s PL goals scored in his time at Arsenal.

    7,10,6,8,6 yup thats Ericksen of Spuds.

    4,6,4,7, 12,2,4,5. Yup thats David silva’s goals scored in his timr at Citeh.

  58. Couple quicn notes:

    Arsenal have reportedly block Welbeck’s loan move to Besitkas.

    Nelson has rejected a new contract.

  59. On the MyFootball website I’ve not long read an interview with the CEO of Borussia Dortmund Joachim Watzke.

    He states that there has been no bid from Arsenal in any shape or form. In fact there have been no bids from any other teams.

    The CEO speaks primarily that Auba( he refers to him as such) has history of ” playing up”. He did say they are willing to sell, if the price is right.

    It’s anybody’s guess what’s happening. WhAt is sure it’s a pucking mess.The P is deliberate.

  60. C:
    Couple quicn notes:

    Arsenal have reportedly block Welbeck’s loan move to Besitkas.

    Nelson has rejected a new contract.

    Whaaaaaooooowww, what a curve ball, did not see that coming. Should I have expected it after the ox put on a life jacket? Sure, but still.

    Ouch and haha Mr no horses.

  61. Jonnygunner,

    Too many to try to have a guess at what is actually going on. The only thing to do is wait and see what actually happens. Hopefully it will be soon. The only thing I’m concerned at it is the possibility that Sanchez is still an Arsenal player at the end of the window. He clearly doesn’t want to be at the club, which is why he seems willing to go to United even though he wanted to link up with Pep again. Having a sulky Sanchez for the rest of the season is like being an man down and the concern would be that we don’t sign anyone in this window if he stays.

  62. Home with children with chickenpox, yay. Exactly, you don’t wanna be here, play for the Arsenal. Well, then sod off and good effing riddance. Don’t let the door slam your arse on the way out.

  63. Equally I don’t want anyone coming to the club who doesn’t really want to be here (Mkhitaryan, I’m looking at you and your scabby agent).

  64. Before playing in the PL I had not seen a lot of Mhkitarian. Who can blame him if he’s not to enamoured In wanting to come to the Emirates.

    The current climate is not particularly conducive to any form of progressio. A look at the Clubs on field success is nothing to shout a out.

    If I were his Agent there’d be some serious questions to be asked re the position of AW. He ( AW) cannot hold the Club to ransom as he did last season. This is obviously why Sanchez and possibly Ozil want away.

    Ones footballing career is short. Players want to win things. Can anybody hand on heart say that the Manager is a winner? The FA Cups mean very little to players especially in terms of Medals.

  65. Just a thought.

    I’ve seen a lot of warbling about Sanchez having wanted to hook up with Pep again having worked with him before.

    I seem to recall Sanchez and he weren’t really the best of mates during his time at Barca?

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