On Understanding What Arsenal Means, Departures and Arrivals: The Gossip

It’s a reminder of the ‘good old days’, but it’s the sort of love for a club you want players to show. The words signal that he understands what it means to fans.

After Real Betis won 5 – 3 at Sevilla, captain Joaquin said, “Anyone who gets home before five in the morning gets fined.” That he was obeyed says it all. Can you imagine that being uttered by whoever the week’s Arsenal captain happens to be? I can’t. And if it was, the night would be spent sipping a vegetable smoothie or two.

The Premier League era sucked the fun out of football. And it ain’t coming back.

There’s been a lot of focus on the current squad and their futures under Unai Emery. That’s no surprise, but those out on loan are as much of an issue. They are the young players gaining experience/in the shop window and the older pros: the ‘dead wood’.

The latter is the issue the club must deal with. Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, and Joel Campbell; fewer in number than previously but more stubborn to shift.

Which is a problem. Or would be normally. Campbell and Perez are out of contract this summer, surely riding off into the sunset.

The summer Dick Law spent chasing Campbell’s agent around the Caribbean looks more foolish with every passing season. If only Campbell had been so elusive on the pitch.

Perez was a little better as a signing, but still not up to scratch. Having passed on him earlier in the summer, we returned when Arsène felt pressured into doing something. Anything. It should have been ‘anything but signing Perez’. If you want to know how he got on in Spain last season, this from the Guardian sums it up:

One night an unhappy fan spray-painted his feelings all over the wall of Lucas Pérez’s house. There was just one flaw: the next day a note had been taped over the graffiti accusing the Deportivo striker of being a “money-grabber” and telling him to “go now!”, which read: “Lucas doesn’t live here any more, dickhead.”

You’re a Big Man…

Neither of that pair will add to the squad; I genuinely can’t think of a positive which would come from re-signing them. Are they going to deliver more than Danny Welbeck? No. Neither is going to deliver more than any of the young players they would find themselves competing with and after more time on the bench, it’s hard to think they would be anything other than disgruntled.

As for Jenkinson, he flopped at Birmingham and featured seven times, one fewer than Cohen Bramall. It’s sad to say but his career is really at a crossroads. At 26, he ought to be in the prime of his career, but it would come as no surprise to find him disillusioned. Turning down the move to Crystal Palace back in 2017 becomes a bigger mistake with each passing day.

He still has two years left on his contract and it must be crossing someone’s mind that paying that up might be the best way to get him off the books. It’s hard to see a top-flight club coming in for him and if you can’t make it at a struggling Championship side, maybe dropping to League One – back to Charlton? – might be the answer. Whatever the case, leaving Arsenal isn’t proving an easy thing for him to do.

Is this a case for the ‘new, ruthless’ Arsenal to answer?

Which begs the question: will the new stats-driven recruitment put an end to signing ‘dead wood’? Is the new ‘dead wood’ just the natural ageing within the squad?

…But I Do This For A Living

There’s no way numbers can guarantee success; every signing still comes down to a hunch, even if the numbers lessen the risk. Just because a player did well at another club doesn’t mean he will be a success at Arsenal. All manner of factors affect performances and it might just be that a particular manager got a certain level of performance from the player.

However, you would expect the stats to put an end to the sight of an Arsenal executive chasing his tail and ending up sipping Piña Colada’s by the pool instead. It didn’t happen often but when it did, Arsenal did it in style.

With cash seemingly tighter than ever – and a salutary warning from Chelsea about the whims of benefactors – we need to be smarter about how we work. News that Chelsea were ditching the ‘new’ Stamford Bridge project reminded me of the scene in Get Carter where Michael Caine throws Alf Roberts off the top of a multi-storey; the two architects on seeing a panda car pull up observe, “I don’t think we’re going to get our fees on this one…”

Which is a no-way contrived segue into this morning’s transfer gossip. One gossip site is determined to tell us “the truth behind every Arsenal rumour”. It must be a short article under that headline, with each player’s name accompanied by the words “just a rumour”.

So that’s the transfer gossip dealt with today unless you want to read more about N’Zonzi, the unlikely arrival of Dembele, the madness of anyone thinking we’d sign Balotelli, the madness that is Balotelli. The list almost endless and frankly I can’t be arsed to continue with it.

The reality is, it’s all rumours and there’s no-one new to add to the list. Then again, it is pre-9am on a Monday morning…

’til Tomorrow.

39 thoughts on “On Understanding What Arsenal Means, Departures and Arrivals: The Gossip

  1. Morning,

    If there is enough interest, I will run a World Cup predictions contest, with a small prize for the one who gets the best score. Contact me at competitions [at] aclfarsenal dot co dot uk for entry details.

  2. Morning

    I understand the rumour mill being in overdrive, with the new man at the helm. With that said, I can see our business being at the end of the window this summer. For once, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    Whilst Emery can discuss potentials and watch video’s, I’d like to think that he’d want to cast an eye over almost each player in person and take the time to meet with them before deciding their Arsenal fate. Can’t see much happening before the WC and generally that grinds the transfer market to total stagnation until players have finished their involvement in the tournament.

    Could be a fairly tortorous few weeks if you follow the transfer bubble?

  3. Damnation, for some reason I thought Jenkinson’s contract was up.
    Wishful thinking I guess

  4. one mans rubbish is another mans treasure

    i would imagine if we are to give the new gaffer time, we’ll find out this season who fits in his plans and who doesnt and then next summer there will be fireworks.

    i think we could all cope with that – after years of watching wengers sides fall apart it became obvious we could have signed all the best players in the world and not done any better, the fans wanted signings because we new where we were weak but it didnt matter who came in we were still weak – if not weaker. but that was because of the system we played more than the playing staff.

    i think the club will naturally make additions because of the various contract situations – IE if we lose players or players want to leave – let them go and replacements will be brought in accordingly – but for now, lets just see what emery can do with the current lot

    transfers dont really excite me much at this stage – it would be nice if we could rebuild the back 5, but a new gaffer is what excited me the most and we got one so lets see what hes got and then build on that.

  5. Great post yogi.

    I never met a transfer rumour I didn’t like, although I must admit the rumors are not as much fun as they used to be. I guess I am older and a bit less naive.

    I agree with you about Joel Campbell and Lucas Perez. Even when he is healthy Joel is not good enough to make the first 11 on Europa League level team in Portugal. Lucas moved back to his ideal situation in Deportivo and his ideal position as the regular striker but the best he could do was matched his career norms as a low level journeyman. He went 5 months without scoring a goal which is part of the reason his team was relegated. Are those really the sort of players we want on our squad? Unfortunately there is no way we could have sold either of them because not one was willing to buy them and pay them Arsenal level wages and there was no reason for either player to accept a move that would have decreased their wages. There is one upside to having players like Joel or Lucas because they could fill squad spot 25 and that would allow us to send players like Reiss Nelson or Jeff etc etc on loan which is where they need to be.

    Jenks probably did not take the Crystal Palace move because he would have had to take a decrease in wages and there was no reason for him to do that. He can play out his last 2 seasons on loan and then negotiate the best deal he can find when he is a free transfer.

  6. Wenger is saying he doesn’t know if he has the desire, drive or passion to manage anymore. (He’s keeping madrid on tenterhooks until he decides) Yet here were the divas prepared to offer him another 5 year contract at Arsenal.

  7. Dukey,

    I could believe that his outlook has massively changed since leaving AFC and the last few years drained him. Perhaps with a degree of separation it’s easier to see the wood from the trees?

    I also would believe that he knows he’ll be found out in five minutes, especially there and won’t go through the embarrassment

  8. Afternoon,

    Jenks was one of those signings that made no sense for the club, but plenty for the player. A life-long Gooner given the opportunity to play for the club he loved, at a salary he could probably only dream of at the time. He only played 8 times in the League for Charlton, so no one really had a clue as to his potential. I think he would probably have ended up being an okay player, reasonable cover at RB when needed, but he needed proper coaching. He had a reasonable spell on loan at West Ham and could have found his level with some decent direction at Palace. I think he’s probably missed his chance now and is too set in his ways, even though he’s only 26. The depths of the lower leagues beckon.

  9. Good stuff Yogi!

    Campbell and Perez I think offer a bit more than Welbeck but so be it.

    Jenks, never thought he was as good as some made out but thought he was perfect level for Palace or other lower level midtable sides…..now, I think he would be better off in Championship to resurrect his career.

  10. Whats interesting is that it really is starting to look like Arsenal don’t want Jack and if thats the case, obviously buying quality would be what will take place and how would that go over with Ramsey who would then be put in a situation given Emery and Mislintat would be bringing in their guy and Ramsey’s contract situation.

  11. The other thing is, will we see more of Elneny under Emery….I think we could most certainly see it especially in that DM position should we bring in a bigger more phyiscal box-to-box type. Will that play a role in Ramsey and Jack as well given Elneny just re-signing and Emery seemingly very good at playing players who fit his system and gets the best out of him.

    I think the biggest thing Gooners might need to get used to is that we won’t get nor should they expect goals from our DM and CM moving forward. It will be less important for our box-to-box to get goals and more important to win the ball back quickly and keep things ticking and dictating the tempo.

  12. If Sane isn’t good enough for Germany’s squad, we should probably just give them the cup now and be done with everyone traipsing over to Russia for a tear up?

  13. Damon,

    It was quite an interesting selection but from what I have read it came down to Brandt and Sane…Brandt is an extremely talented boy but he also offers more defensively. Also read that Lowe says Sane’s time will come which.

    I also fancy that if Reus wasn’t fit and found form in the 2nd half of the season, Sane would be in the German squad.

  14. C,

    You won’t want to hear it, but I’d have taken Sane over Ozil 😉

    Think he’s a fabulous talent

  15. Damon,

    He is a sublime talent but Ozil is key for Germany and I know most in England don’t agree but in Germany they question why he takes so much slack.

    I’d take Sane over Draxler though.

  16. C:
    Damon,

    He is a sublime talent but Ozil is key for Germany and I know most in England don’t agree but in Germany they question why he takes so much slack.

    I’d take Sane over Draxler though.

    The German’s impressions of ozil are still based mostly on his reputation because they haven’t watched him nearly as much as we have

    Sane over Draxler is a no brainer

  17. Jonnygunner,

    A slight technicality Jonny. I’ll take second.

    Just had a browse across a number of platforms and see that we are linked with Felliani?

    I guess everything is up for discussion I in this new era? I personally have never thought much about him as a player. He’s a big, not particularly skilful, makes a nuisance of himself considerably on the pitch.

    C what’s your line of thought ?

  18. I forgot to add that the source is a Paul Hirtst. Apparently Emery tried to sign Felliani when he was at PSG.

    The Tweet states he’d met the Arsenal representatives.

  19. Bill,

    No mate they watch him as much as we do the difference is Arsenal supporters judge him for what they want him to be, the wages he is paid and for everything wrong with Arsenal.

    You lot want him to be Vieira, Silva and Bergkamp all wrapped in one and then make average finishers likr Giroud, Welbeck, Ramsey, Iwobi into stars without realizing that the best years the first 3 had were with Ozil. Even funnier is that most want Ramsey to replace him yet whenever managers play us the one name you hear they want to mark out the game is Ozil or am I mistaken and wouldn’t those managers like Klopp, Pep, Simeone have forgetten more about futbol than we will know in our lifetime…..

  20. ” Campbell and Perez are out of contract this summer, surely riding off into the sunset.” Are you sure about Perez, I thought he had two years left n his contract regardless if we sell him or not.

  21. When the news first broke i was underwhelmed by Unai. Then after reading through the plethora of info around the nets the excitement came, how could it not? Sokratis, Steiner? Fine, I get it. Nzonzi? ehh, he’d do a job i suppose.
    Fellaini ? Err….
    Tho adli looks a steal, good job, promised playing time? Reminds me of when we stole fab. 200 bags also, sell Jack and that’s some mighty fine business i must say.

  22. C,

    Hello C I’m in agreement with you. No idea where we would play him.

    He would ( lol) bring an edge, physicality that we’ve been missing for a while.

    Currently listening to BBC Radio 5 Live. G Marcotti reckons he’s being hawked around by his Agent.

    I personally don’t see it myself. Click bait I guess. I would take Nzoni without any hesitation.

  23. Ras,

    Yea think its just click bait for his agent trying to get him one last pay day. Nzonzi I would take but he doesn’t fancy a move to the PL from what I’ve read because he feels he is misunderstood as a futboler, people want him to be Vieira even though he is more Gilberto Silva.

  24. Colts,

    If Emery can do with Adli what he has done for Rabiot (Emery was the key to his development ans that boy is a special talent), then that would be absolutely brilliant.

  25. According to Sokratis father he will complete his move Tuesday and was wanted by United but his links with the Dortmund lot made Arsenal the preferred destination.

  26. C,

    I think that is the mistake. Draxler barely gets a game for PSG whereas Sane is vital for City. Strange one.

  27. C,

    Not sure so believe MU were that interested as no links came out and they have the cash to bring in top CB’s like Koulibaly at Napoli.

  28. Limestonegunner,

    On current form for that very reason I would take Sane over Draxler but me and you have chatted about Draxler and you know how much I rate him.

    Right or wrong but I fancy Sokratis is a Mourinho style defender. Sure they could through loads of money but I would imagine Mourinho will want Fred and to spend big on FB’s.

  29. C

    We should be able to exoect the worlds highest paid flair player to do the one thing he is asked to do very well on a consistent basis but that has not been happening for 2 1/2 seasons.

  30. C,

    I’d imagine unai won’t have to do much, just watching his YouTube i had to keep reminding myself he was 17.

  31. I probably suspect Sane was acting like the big cheese in the German dressing room fecking zup ze team morale. If so it would be the right call. Typical Germany though losing friendlies in a build up to a tournament. Be afraid…

  32. Bit like Ozil at AFC earning 3/4/5 times other first team players and not turning up in big games, or worse, being “injured” and being in Turkey or Germany convalescing then?

    Dukey:
    I probably suspect Sane was acting like the big cheese in the German dressing room fecking zup ze team morale.If so it would be the right call

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