England Through, Unai’s in Charge & Contract Talk

My Viking heritage surfaced this morning judging by my Thor head.

Eng-er-lund advancing to the last eight saw the Catholic church agree that winning a penalty shootout win was a verified miracle. Gareth Southgate’s sainthood is a World Cup win away.

Colombia got it horribly wrong. Their cynical approach, determined to unsettle, jar, and aggravate, was reminiscent of Uruguay 1986. The fifteen minutes from 75 to 105 minutes highlighted they would have been better served by playing football. Instead, they slumped to a deserved defeat.

It was ugly, spiteful, and unnecessary; that’s just Jordan Henderson, but England matched Colombia’s cynicism as they hit the deck for every little foul, which an appallingly weak referee reduced the match to. The ugly side of the game shone through with Maguire’s dive in the second half capturing the mood. He ‘unsportingly’ hit the deck with no contact and then ‘sportingly’ told the ref it wasn’t a foul.

This from Henry Winter summed the referee’s performance up:

It’s beginning to look more like English referees missed out because of incompetence using VAR than for being generally useless.

The headbutt on Henderson summed up the evening. It’s inexplicable that a red card didn’t follow; VAR ‘bottled it’. Mark Clattenburg sensibly suggested that VAR shouldn’t make the call, but instead tell the referee to review the incident.

Surprisingly, the referee didn’t bottle the penalty decision, which led to scenes. Three minutes passed between the award of the spot kick and Kane taking it, with not an injury in sight.

It was a staggering foul highlighting that neither coaches or players watched other matches. Since the first round of games, referees give a warning and then two falls and a submission mean a penalty. Yet players still do it; madness.

Credit to Kane for keeping focused and scoring.

I’ll Get You, Butler

At the half-time whistle, FIFA’s security came under scrutiny when a drunk ambled pitchside and dropped a shoulder on Sterling. The dishevelled and elderly gentleman turned out to be a member of the Colombian entourage, determined to continue the players’ efforts.

On the subject of Raheem Sterling, barely had the final shrill peep of the referee’s whistle faded before the Heil were after him again. There is a newspaper which isn’t going to rest until Sterling is hanging at Traitor’s Gate.

While Jordan Pickford is rightly getting plaudits for his save just before Colombia’s equaliser – talk about not doing your homework on Yerry Mina – and winning the shootout, Maguire was strong throughout the previous 120 minutes.

Walker is the one defender whose place is under threat, looking weak in a back three while Eric Dier’s inclusion leaves me baffled. He took a good penalty but precious little else about his performance was good.

It certainly wasn’t pretty but England won and looking at Sweden’s performance against Switzerland, won’t be afraid of the egoless Scandanavians. Nor they England, I should imagine.

At Arsenal, pre-season photos showed Unai Emery in Blakey mode, striding the Colney turf looking important with his clipboard. We’ll see him accused of giving a team away at some point when in reality it’s just the cone clearing rota.

Until now, it felt like the change in manager was almost an ‘intellectual exercise’, a  ‘what if’ or ‘what would it be like’ game. Now, the energy of change courses through my veins – particularly since the alcohol has created space for it – and the new season can’t come soon enough. Or the friendlies, with the development of the team’s new style being a fascinating aspect of the next month.

Chambers Music

Calum Chambers signed a new contract extension with Unai Emery commenting that “I’m delighted Calum has extended his stay with us. He played an important role last season and will be part of my plans this season.”

The question now is where does Rob Holding stand in Emery’s plans? Mavropanos seems to be ahead of him in the first-team queue although that was ‘old thinking’; is the new boss the same as the old boss?

Which leaves one contract for the team to focus on. If Mesut Özil had the club over a barrel, Ramsey dug it out of storage and is putting Ivan firmly over it. Quite simply, Arsenal can’t afford for the Welshman to leave without having a ‘big name’ to replace him. With all due respect to Torreira – or N’Zonzi, Gomes, and Asensio – they won’t fill the Welshman’s hole in the side. Well, the latter might.

Elsewhere, Mesut Özil’s brand demands were sated as he was ‘rewarded’ with the Number 10 shirt. Bernd Leno must wait to see whether Dave or Pete leave before he is given a squad number.

’til Tomorrow.

98 thoughts on “England Through, Unai’s in Charge & Contract Talk

  1. Morning all’
    Whilst it wasn’t the greatest game I thought that the Colombians totally mugged themselves off with their snidey thunderc*nt antics! Their fans were fantastic and deserved far better than the anti-football brand that their team decided to serve up!!!
    Perhaps the Colombian Head Coach was influenced by watching endless reruns of Stoke City DVD’s since his team played Poland but I found it strange that they waited until injury time before realising that they would be better placed in playing some actual football instead of trying to constantly wrestle everyone to the floor!
    Anyway Im pleased they got what they deserved!
    C’mon England!

  2. That was a truly rotten game last night, with very few redeeming factors. I thought Columbia were there for the taking, but Southgate’s tactics were negative. Walker is needed for pace at the back. Ali & Sterling are making up the numbers at the moment.

    Anyway the wailing of ‘Football’s Coming Home’ into the early hours showed the joy that a World Cup run can bring to a nation. Suddenly everybody is a football fan/expert.

  3. Seriously Ian, get real with all that Colombian lambasting! Both teams were despicable and this was the worst game of the round of 16. Snide, cynical and deceitful tactics from both sides. I’d say it’s 50/50 for the quarters. Regardless, I’m sorry to say it won’t be England’s name on this world cup that’s for certain! At least Colombia managed a goal from open play rather than having to rely on a referee decision. Well just Wellbeck to come back for pre-season and let’s face it, he should be well rested by the time he gets back #benchwarmer

  4. Henry,

    I’m not saying England were angels and certainly had a couple of unsavoury moments but Colombia were pretty horrible in how they played last night. England should have wrapped that game up long before their equaliser.

    However on the evidence we have seen I’m pretty certain England wont be the eventual winners, but I’m still going to root for them!

  5. Is it any wonder that on England’s side of the draw, 3 of the 4 quarter finalist’s came through on penalty’s!? Whilst there were no quarter finalist’s who came through on penalty’s in the other half of the draw! I know which side of the draw I’d put my money on for the eventual winner of this world cup.

  6. Sorry Ian but you said England should have wrapped that game up long before their equaliser!? Were we watching the same game? I struggle to record a moment of clear cut or wasted opportunity on our behalf. We were distinctly average, lacked imagination. Poor in possession and had no real goal threat of any consequence. I love my country, but I’m a realistic football fan. Unlike many of the so called Arsenal supporters who peruse this blog week in, week out.

  7. Well done England, you stood tall against all provocation. How Columbia could protest against the first penalty is beyond my comprehension. Kane was being constantly and purposely goaded into a provocative response; the way he was wrestled to the ground right in front of the referee surely merited a red card. Bravo to Soutgate for his game plan and for having honed the team into non-retaliation mood. We kept our heads and triumphed. Hope we’ll do it all the way to the final. The heroes of ’66 would have been proud of you.

  8. p.s. as always a fantastic post YW. I really enjoyed the philosopher themed post.

  9. vitor fenech a fan of the Mourinho school of football. You’re on the wrong blog mate! Utd fans are invading our space!

  10. Caught a re-run of Match of the day from 1965 on BT Sport: Arsenal v Sheffield United (6-2).

    Arsenal team that day:

    Keeper – Tony Burns
    Right Full Back – Don Howe / Left Full Back – Peter Storey
    Centre Back – Terry Neill
    Right Half Back – Frank McLintock / Left Half Back – David Court
    Inside Right – Jon Sammels / Inside Left – George Eastham
    Outside Right – Alan Skirton / Outside Right – George Armstrong
    Centre Forward – Joe Baker

    Manager – Billy Wright

    Jumpers for Goalposts

  11. England didn’t cover themselves in glory last night but the Colombians were a right bunch of spoiling pricks. South American trait I suppose.

    The simple fact is we are through to the next round and I will support them no matter what club any of them play for.

    I’m sure there will be the usual Anti-England twats on later to “prove me wrong”.

  12. And Ashley Young going over the ball studs showing and stomping on the Columbian player was a proper tackle huh…or Tripper and McGuire acting without being touched, guess they were just being clever, or Henderson leaving his leg in against Falcao’s head was Captain material right..

    Columbia didn’t cover themselves in glory but England most certainly played their part as well.

  13. Bon jour YW.

    The decision not to give Maguire a red card basically comes down to FIFA issuing a directive to Referees that they want ” Star” Players not to be suspended, hence the leniency.

    England did not create enough in the Game bur can be happy of course by the Pelanty ‘Waddle’ shoot out.

    I think the introduction of Dyer saw Ensmdcpressed further back. He’s a pretty ordinary player.

    England lack that spark from Midfield of Platini, Riquelme, Modrich, Zico type of Player.

  14. I’m far from an eng-ger-land obsessive (my passion for all things ‘patriotic’ waned a long time ago) – but I don’t think you can equate Columbia & England last night in terms of behaviour. England certainly started dropping like flies towards the end of the game every time a Columbian player came near which wasn’t nice to see – but the sheer cynicism and snidery on the part of the Columbians was in no way matched by any of the England players (headbutting Henderson, kicking off for 5 mins after a clear penalty, with footage of the columbian player gouging the penalty spot whilst the referee was distracted, and so on and so forth.

    Also Henrynorrisdialsquare – yes, England didn’t create many clear cut chances, but by the same token, I don’t remember Columbia even having a serious effort on goal until the 92nd minute.

    Basically it was a pretty shite game of football where neither side came away covered in glory, but yes, penalties were fun and looking forward to the next game.

    I for one am enjoying not caring enough about England to be upset when we lose; but caring enough to enjoy the wins. Not how it’s supposed to be done, but a lot more fun!

  15. Ras – is Maguire a star player? I’ve become so detached from football recently that I’d never even heard of him before this tournament, so whilst that might be ignorance on my part, I can’t imagine he has a star quality that refs would want to protect.

  16. Columbia always play dirty. Falcao, the Man U and Chelski flop says the referee favoured England ( yes, a mere yellow for a headbutt!). I liked the win and good luck to our boys.

  17. Great post yogi.

    The ref lost control of the game early in the match and when that happens a game like yesterday is an almost inevitable result. England held its nerve which is truly remarkable and went thru which in the end is what matters. I must admit that my optimistic spirit was put to the test when Jordan Henderson missed the 3rd spot kick.

    I think we will be favored and we can beat Sweden and then who knows.

  18. jabberwocky,

    Yep. Pretty much how I feel.

    On another topic, isn’t is odd seeing training in the hands of a young manager? I mean, isn’t the arsenal manager meant to be grey haired and drawn?

  19. Looks like some bird’s given Jack the old green light.

    She’s pantin’ for it.

  20. Torriera’s dad has been talking again and this time he talks about Torriera not being in London alone and the family as a whole having to adjust to life in London as opposed to playing in Uruguay or at Sampdoria.

    Also interesting to note that Nzonzi has put in a transfer request ans apparently Arsenal are interested.

  21. consolsbob,

    Its quite brilliant to see a young but experienced and successful manager running the rule with fresh ideas. Have to say, the grey haired manager doesn’t always do it for me, I prefer a fine full non-grey hair that rarely moves even when he is barking orders to the troops

  22. Silly Sausage,

    “South American trait I suppose.”

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    And if by “anti-England twats”, you mean straight shooters like me who won’t overlook maladroit remarks from wisecrackers like yourself.

    We’ll see what happens when you meet a vastly superior team in the semi-final. You know, one which knows a thing or five about winning competitions regularly – not six decades ago. Assuming your world beaters progress that far in the competição.

    Enjoy the ride while you can. 💪🏼

  23. C,

    We are still lacking a dynamic forward player on the left. Nzonzi, if true, is merely the appetizer in an otherwise congested midfield.

    Welbeck is the only outfield player for England yet to start a game at the Copa. Southgate who is no fool, doesn’t trust him in high stakes games. Why should we want want him at Arsenal after 4 seasons of little to no impact?

  24. Silly Sausage,

    Its a South American trait, do me a favor and fuck off! How can you say its a South American trait when Ashley Young, Trippier, Kane, Alli, Sterling, McGuire and Dier all flopped around and studded the Columbians?

    Again, you are exactly the type of fucker I am talking about that condemns Neymar and others but then calls the English clever when they do the same thing.

  25. Borges Spinelli,

    I agree, I honestly hope we get ome of Pavon or Martins if rumors and reports are to be believed.

    Welbeck, I think he is a good CF3 for us capable of high pressing in Emery’s system or leading the line in the CC or early FA Cup matches.

  26. C,

    I’ll tell you who I really want – Lozano excluded – as he is totally flying under the radar. Although unlikely to be signed as he’s entering his 2nd season with his BUNDESLIGA. He goes by the name Leon Bailey. Our guy Bernd Leno knows him very well.

    We ought to snap him up now, while he is still affordable. Heck and his future world class, teenager teammate Kai Havertz. The latter is a younger version of Ozil, who under the right coaching, can become even better. Both are the real deal, trust me.

    I had refrained from naming both for a while, to prevent us from being falsely linked with them by lazy journalists who patrol popular blogs for subjects to write on.

  27. Borges Spinelli,

    I’m a HUGE admirer of Leon Bailey, that boy is going to be ABSOLUTELY brilliant. He is going under the radar everywhere but in Germany. If we could get him I might fly out and give Mislintat, Emery and Sanllehi a big wet one on the cheek.

    Blessed with it all and technically equal to Sane, he is a combination of an old fashion and modern winger. The interesting thing is that he is one of thise players like Firmino or Lacazette that could be that hybrid winger CF and yet at only 20 doea get mentioned much.

  28. C,

    Precisely. Bailey at 20 is reminiscent of a 19year old energetic Oxlade, but with a greater eye for goals commensurate with his in your face style movements along the flanks. An instant upgrade on Welbeck and Iwobi. Wingers like that are few and far between.

    Furthermore I’m thrilled you referred to Lacazette as a hybrid CF. His detractors, who are largely unversed with leagues outside of the EPL should be reminded that Lacazette at Lyon, was predominantly a winger until 2014 season’s commencement. Therefore all talk of him unable to play alongside Aubameyang is stuck on stupid. I would play both without hesitancy to frighten the bejezus out opposing defenders. Give them license to interchange positions.

  29. Borges Spinelli,

    Bailey would be an instant upgrade on Welbeck and even if Ox was here, Ox as well. Bailey is brilliant young and would be a massive signing, problem is, we will have to battle Bayern Munich for him.

    I’m not sure were the talk that Aubameyang and Lacazette can’t play together came from aince BOTH are hybrid CF/wingers. Both were brilliant wingers who were transformed into 2 of the top 10 most lethal CF’s in the world. They can play together and the great thing about both is that they not only want to play together but can easily switch positions over the course of a match and both have the workrate and engine to do the defensive work in both a high pressing style and a strictly countering style and then bust a lung to get in the box.

  30. You know, there really is an anti English sentiment showing on this blog. I have no time for any cheaters but I think that some here just want england to fail.

    No team in this world cup looks exceptional to me. All are capable of cheating to gain an advantage. England could win it but that is unlikely. I hope they do.

    I have had enough of ‘serial’ winners and sneers about not winning it for ‘six decades’ strike me as elitist and snide.

  31. If I was a ref, I would dish out lots of yellow cards early (to stamp my “authority” on the game) but be a lot more cautious about handing out second yellows (if I could remember who already had one yellow – not guaranteed). Isn’t that smarter than vice versa.

  32. C,

    It’s a view I’ve heard expressed time and time again across social media & blogosphere. Saying now that we have a prolific striker in Aubameyang, Lacazette who has ‘underwhelmed’ should be sold or dropped etc.

    Incredulous. If we were small timers a la Watford or Crystal Palace, cashing in on a quality player surplus to requirement would be a no brainer. A club such as ours, with elite club aspirations can never have too many top strikers.

  33. jabberwocky,

    In reference to my point from yesterday I was referring to the shenanigans of Neymar and the many others.

    Of course Maguire is no major star. It just highlights my point completely. We saw simulation on his part clearly. If they had decided to review his actions it would have been a Red Card.

  34. consolsbob,

    As someone who has always respected you over the years on here. I haven’t the desire for us to fall outl. All I’ll say is:

    In professional sport, it is widely acknowledged that athletes/players are always willing to do anything to gain an edge over their opponents. No nation on earth is immune to this mantra, including self appointed morally-superior ones.

    Regarding elitist sneers, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 😉🏆⚽🇧🇷

    Attachment

  35. Borges Spinelli,

    I agree with your sentiments in very large measure but do feel that you fell somewhat into the same trap as the person you were responding to. He showed a tendency to stereotype and belittle South Americans and you……

    Let’s just say that some underlying bias came out.

  36. Borges Spinelli: I’ll tell you who I really want – Lozano excluded – as he is totally flying under the radar. Although unlikely to be signed as he’s entering his 2nd season with his BUNDESLIGA. He goes by the name Leon Bailey. Our guy Bernd Leno knows him very well.

    We ought to snap him up now, while he is still affordable. Heck and his future world class, teenager teammate Kai Havertz. The latter is a younger version of Ozil, who under the right coaching, can become even better. Both are the real deal, trust me.

    A man who knows his onions! Great shout, both are exciting prospects and would be a fantastic addition to our squad. Not sure it’s what Unai is currently looking for however and getting them to move from their current teams would be no small feat either! I like your thinking though.

  37. consolsbob: You know, there really is an anti English sentiment showing on this blog. I have no time for any cheaters but I think that some here just want england to fail.

    No team in this world cup looks exceptional to me. All are capable of cheating to gain an advantage. England could win it but that is unlikely. I hope they do.

    I have had enough of ‘serial’ winners and sneers about not winning it for ‘six decades’ strike me as elitist and snide.

    Sir Bob, there’s nothing anti English from my perspective. I’m a lover of the beautiful game and the player’s that have represented our great country over the years have consistently let us down. I dream of a day when a United British team under the guise of Great Britain wins the World Cup, Euro’s or Olympic’s. But sadly we’re still stuck in our colonial past and aren’t able to move forward as a nation to actually compete on a world stage as a unified Great Britain. Enjoying the best of the English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish can offer. I know what you will say Bale and Ramsey aside, not many of them would make the squad. But you can’t say we wouldn’t benefit from the larger talent pool? If England, can win the world cup playing honestly, with flair and skill, then I would 1000% back them to the hilt. But given that we can’t play as well as other nations having invented the game, pardon me if I’m some what sceptical. As for your remark “that all are capable of cheating to gain an advantage”. Did you watch the Belgium v Japan game!? Both teams played honestly, with skill and tactics. A proper game of football!

  38. On a different note….

    This Ronaldo thing is fascinating because there is talk of Ronaldo heading to Juve, Morata heading to Juve and Higuian coming to Chelsea as Manager Sarri’s first signing.

  39. C,

    I love Leon Bailey’s game. Sadly I think he is already too widely celebrated to be affordable or willing to come to us. We should have bought him in last summer and sold Sanchez. This kid is brilliant.

  40. Limestonegunner,

    Yup, I think Bailey, at this point wouldn’t come to Arsenal unless we really make big leaps in the next season. The othet thing working against us is, Bayern have been known to snatch players like that quickly.

  41. I think human nature is stronger then nationality or culture and the idea that players from a specific club team or country or continent are more prone to cheating or dirty tricks is way off target.

    Fans see what they expect or hope to see. There is a significant segment of the Arsenal fan base who thought that Arsene Wenger had instilled a sense of honor in his players and they were above cheating and they honestly believed that there was anti-Arsenal ref conspiracy and a media smear campaign all designed to hold back Arsene Wengers teams. Not surprisingly that is exactly what they saw when they watched the games.

  42. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Actually, i wouldn’t say that about players from those countries. But that is the point. We are all separate countries. Nothing to do with imperialism. We have always been separate countries and countries play in the World Cup.

    Great Britain is a political entity only.

  43. I have never watched Leon Bailey but I know from past experience that our batting average for picking out which U21’s will live up to their immense potential has been pretty low. The Julian Draxler syndrome.

  44. Bill,

    You should watch him. He’s skilled, fast, determined. He’s not some coddled academy kid; he’s a fighter. The ingredients for success are there and he had very good two seasons already in the Bundesliga.

  45. Gotta love an imperialist debate…

    A few points of order:

    Great Britain does not include Ireland nor Northern Ireland.

    The British Empire included Ireland, the American colonies and much more

    …still not sure that would add much to the football team…

    HenryNorrisDialSquare: Sir Bob, there’s nothing anti English from my perspective. I’m a lover of the beautiful game and the player’s that have represented our great country over the years have consistently let us down. I dream of a day when a United British team under the guise of Great Britain wins the World Cup, Euro’s or Olympic’s.But sadly we’re still stuck in our colonial past and aren’t able to move forward as a nation to actually compete on a world stage as a unified Great Britain.Enjoying the best of the English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish can offer. I know what you will say Bale and Ramsey aside, not many of them would make the squad.But you can’t say we wouldn’t benefit from the larger talent pool?If England, can win the world cup playing honestly, with flair and skill, then I would 1000% back them to the hilt. But given that we can’t play as well as other nations having invented the game, pardon me if I’m some what sceptical.As for your remark “that all are capable of cheating to gain an advantage”. Did you watch the Belgium v Japan game!?Both teams played honestly, with skill and tactics. A proper game of football!

  46. The World Cup and FIFA sanctioned international football is not a question of competition between countries but rather of nation states. Only “the Home Countries” for historic reasons compete independently in this system. I had this debate on here with a famous alum of this blog, Frank, around 2010 I think back when Borges Spinelli was also in in a period of regular commenting. At the end, when Frank could not gainsay my precise evidence and arguments that this situation was highly irregular and merely a historic compromise on an otherwise statist international system rather than a romantic and mystical principle of distinct nations or countries, he lashed out in frustration that I was legalistic and should “f-off”! Aah, the good old days! Maybe Borges/Spinelli remembers the hilarious exchange as he was involved.

  47. I guess we can conclude that the WC does bring out some unfortunate national and political perspectives sometimes. I prefer the random and therefore unserious but passionately felt club hatred and rivalry. I suppose this is why I cannot as a Gooner be anything but opposed to a team composed of no Arsenal starters and so heavily of pretty unlikeable Spurs, ex Spurs and other players I dislike from domestic club rivals. That should bring us together here—club over all!

  48. Limestonegunner:
    Bill,

    You should watch him.He’s skilled, fast, determined.He’s not some coddled academy kid; he’s a fighter. The ingredients for success are there and he had very good two seasons already in the Bundesliga.

    Limestone.

    You may be right about Bailey and I suspect your batting average is probably better then most but I am still skeptical since I have seen a lot more Julian Draxler’s then Leroy Sanes over the last 10 years. I think it’s a crap shoot to try and guess and even the professional talent evaluators that work for football club miss about as often as they hit

  49. I sure do remember that enjoyable topic of discourse. It went from civilized to angry and back to civilized. Everyone from Limpars Assist, HenryB…, Pistolfish etc opined on it.

    I’m still non the wiser on this aspect. If FIFA is a competition not for countries, but nation states. Why aren’t Quebec, Greenland, Catalunha, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Somaliland allowed to partake in it?

    For what it’s worth, England’s chances of excelling in sports particularly futebol would up there with Germany, Spain and Brasil if it could compete under a unified banner of GB/UK. Imagine what a young Giggs, Souness, Dalglish, Rush and Ally McCoist would have brought to the mix.

    PS: someone needs to, if they haven’t already setup an Arsenal scouting network in Ireland and Scotland. Imagine unearthing the next superstar under the right technical coaching.

    Limestonegunner:
    The World Cup and FIFA sanctioned international football is not a question of competition between countries but rather of nation states.Only “the Home Countries” for historic reasons compete independently in this system.I had this debate on here with a famous alum of this blog, Frank, around 2010 I think back when Borges Spinelli was also in in a period of regular commenting.At the end, when Frank could not gainsay my precise evidence and arguments that this situation was highly irregular and merely a historic compromise on an otherwise statist international system rather than a romantic and mystical principle of distinct nations or countries, he lashed out in frustration that I was legalistic and should “f-off”!Aah, the good old days!Maybe Borges/Spinelli remembers the hilarious exchange as he was involved.

  50. Leon Bailey is going to be a huge star. You heard it 1st here. If his overall game were to improve by 30%, he’d compared to the likes of Bale and Arjen Robben. Give him another 3/4 seasons. It took Sterling 6 seasons (excluding his bitpart 2011 debut) to get to the level he is now.

    Bill:
    I have never watched Leon Bailey but I know from past experience that our batting average for picking out which U21’s will live up to their immense potential has been pretty low. The Julian Draxler syndrome.

  51. In theory Bayern Munich should be the favorites to get a player like Bailey but their record has not been great heavily hyped young players like him in this decade. Mario Goethe, Kingsley Coman, Douglas Costa have all come and all have been underwhelming. None of those players has been good enough and Munich is still using Muller, Ribéry and Robben who are all past their prime.

  52. Bill,

    Douglas Costa has been quality for them and left for Juve and was superb there. Kingsley Koman has been good for them but has also struggled with injuries.

  53. Borges

    Over the years the ACLF scouting combine has over rated a massive majority of players we have heard about. However, our lack of success is certainly no surprise when you see a team like Munich who in theory should have one of the best scouting services in the world and even they swing and miss at least as often and probably more often then they hit a home run. Faced with the evidence its hard not to be skeptical about someone who is supposed to be the next big thing.

    The biggest problem is you can’t really teach an attacking player how to produce end product in the final 1/3 and its almost imposssible for even the professional scouts to predict if or when it might happen.

  54. Bill,

    Costa worked out pretty damn well for them prior to him leaving for Juve. Koman has done better than you think and not for nothing but Bayern have no problem selling and not extending players that don’t work out for them but I think its quite telling that they exercised their option to buy him in 2017 then signing him to a contract until 2020 AND then a year later extending his contract until 2023.

  55. Bill,

    We are all just shooting in the dark with scouting such young players. In this inflated market it can be really risky paying a premium for potential. There are some who really do look the business. I do think he is an exciting player. But a lot can happen. A bad move to Bayern when too young or on a hype train of expectations and massive fees/wages to PSG or RM and it could all go south. I was never too keen on Draxler though. Lots of injuries and little end product for a wide forward. Bailey however seems quite robust and has the final ball.

  56. Borges Spinelli:
    Oh and I always thought Consolbob was Frank. Where is Frank?

    Now you’ve really done it, haha! You cannot compare a gentleman with a fiend, my friend. Your powers of discernment are under some scrutiny now. But I do agree: where is Tibet’s Team?

  57. consolsbob,

    Being the target of Frank’s vulgar vitriol was something of a rite of passage for any independent minded Gooner Dari g to question Wenger. Let’s hope a new era of committed support and simultaneous independent opinion is at hand for a more unified and normal post Wenger Goonerdom. But we have to watch Dukey. He’s on an England fun bus. I hope he knows we’ll patch him up and include him on the AFC front line against Spurs et al when it crashes in the semi or final.

    I’m looking forward to watching the final in London—a little bit of me would enjoy being in the country of a finalist for the atmosphere and the excitement. I was in Paris summer 2006 and enjoyed the experience even though it ended badly, but spectacularly.

  58. Limestone.

    Fair enough.

    I agree that paying up for potential is very risky and more often then not unrewarding but if you have lots of money like you can afford to make mistakes. Unfortunately, It does not work that way for Arsenal which is why I am always a bit reluctant when I hear fans get excited about someone’s potential

  59. C:
    Bill,

    Costa worked out pretty damn well for them prior to him leaving for Juve. Koman has done better than you think and not for nothing but Bayern have no problem selling and not extending players that don’t work out for them but I think its quite telling that they exercised their option to buy him in 2017 then signing him to a contract until 2020 AND then a year later extending his contract until 2023.

    I guess it depends on your individual definition of pretty darn well. I am reasonable confident you believed that Goetze, Costa and Koman were potential superstar players and I am sure Munich was hoping they would mature into regular starters and difference making players but none of them did. Costa is now 27 and last season at Juve he started less then 1/2 the league games and only got on the field as a sub in 2 of their CL games. I think that can easily be classified as disappointing for a player who was as highly rated as heavily hyped.

  60. Bill,

    We can’t afford him so it is just vain admiration and blog chatter. You must be happy with the veteran signings we’ve made so far. Sokratis is probably pretty decent and Lichtsteiner adds depth at RB. Leno has mixed reviews, so we’ll see but he is probably better than Ospina, so that improved the squad if not first 11. Torreira is the more exciting possibility. Do you fear he is too young and diminutive for DM in PL for Arsenal? I think it is positive that the club at least acknowledge the value of the role after 10 years of struggling without one.

  61. Bill,

    YOUR COMPLETELY WRONG on Costa, he was a bang on starter under Pep at Bayern and when Pep their was a change in manager who preferres Robben in his system so Costa was sent on loan. Under Pep he scored 7 goals and had 14 assists in his first season and that is even with missing 2 months through injury.
    Last season at Juve he started 31 matches in the league, led ALL OF SERIE A in dribbles and was SECOND in Serie A with 14 assists, he started 10 matches in the CL (was unplayable and a MASSIVE part of why they beat Spuds) and was superb. Juve then immediately triggered his buy claus. Koman is 22 years old and I would imagine that giving him 2 new contracts in 2 years means that the truth is much closer to me than you. Goetze, I still think he is a talent but he made the wrong career move to Bayern at a time when he really didn’t fit and he suffered through injuries and Pep not really wanting him.

    Not for nothing mate, but at some point you’ll learn that if you go from Bayern to Juve then you must be doing something right, o yea and Koman has played for PSG, signed with Juve on a free and is now the present and future of Bayern.

  62. Ooh I see. Hahaha. Had no idea he was a divisive character on here.

    Michael:
    Borges,

    I think he went with the fun bus crew.

  63. It was an honest mistake. Honestly. If I remember correctly, are you the one who owns all those matchday programs from the late ’60s and ’70s?

    consolsbob:
    Borges Spinelli,

    You thought I was Frank?

    Are you insane? Frank got banned from here several years ago for, amongst other things, calling me a ‘c*nt’!

  64. C

    You are right. My bad. When I looked at the stats on ESPN I was looking at the champions cup and not the champions league. Costa started 8 games in the CL last season.

  65. consolsbob,

    Clearly Devon is God’s country and sadly I have neglected it. In my misspent early ACLF days, we rented a cottage in Cornwall and had a fine time. But the weather really was chilly, damp and barely brightened. I have since been educated here and realize that I went completely astray and made a major mistake not looking instead to Devon. If I venture out of London in future trips to the UK, it will be either to explore Wales or to sample the heaven of Devon. But I do have to say that Bill has the right idea retiring to Colorado wilds for summer. Everything from the Sierra Nevadas to the Rockies is magnificent. Even the desert has charms and dry heat is so much more tolerable.

  66. Borges Spinelli,

    Yes he is. And he used to do wonderful matchday columns drawn from them. I loved those. Cbob, do you ever do those anymore? Maybe time to revive the occasional Arsenal fixtures past tradition for the new era.

  67. Bill,

    I thought that didn’t sound right. My memory from watching CL was that Costa was very often ajuve’s best player and was astonished he had been loaned away. Wish he had come to Arsenal on loan with option to buy.

  68. Limestonegunner:
    consolsbob,

    Clearly Devon is God’s country and sadly I have neglected it.In my misspent early ACLF days, we rented a cottage in Cornwall and had a fine time.But the weather really was chilly, damp and barely brightened.I have since been educated here and realize that I went completely astray and made a major mistake not looking instead to Devon.If I venture out of London in future trips to the UK, it will be either to explore Wales or to sample the heaven of Devon.But I do have to say that Bill has the right idea retiring to Colorado wilds for summer.Everything from the Sierra Nevadas to the Rockies is magnificent. Even the desert has charms and dry heat is so much more tolerable.

    Go to Wales…it will never disappoint

  69. Limestone

    I misread the gams played stats on ESPN. He started 18 games in Serie A and was a sub in 13. He scored 4 league goals and had 14 league assists. He started 8 champions league game and was a sub in 2. In those 10 games in the CL he had 0 goals and 1 assist. The assist totals in the league games is very impressive. The other stats not so much.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think he plays mostly as a forward and my guess Munich sent him on loan because they have more then enough creativity and he takes up one of their forward spots but does not score enough goals. Over the long term its hard to justify a forward who does not score

  70. Isn’t Tibet an independent nation in ose proximity to Laos and Mongolia?

    Limestonegunner: Now you’ve really done it, haha!You cannot compare a gentleman with a fiend, my friend. Your powers of discernment are under some scrutiny now.But I do agree: where is Tibet’s Team?

    Bill:
    Borges.

    You may be right about Bailey.

  71. My record of scouting players on ACLF isn’t any worse than pre-Msilinat era Arsenal scouting department. I suggested Lacazette long before we ever signed him. As I had Lucas Moura & Casemiro also, when both were unknown teens at (my 2nd team) SPFC. Or Arturo Vidal & Renato Augusto at Leverkeusen way back in January transfer window of 2012. Pastore & Cavani in 2010/11 when they were at Palermo & Naples respectively. Alexis Sanchez while he was still playing in the Seria A. Luis Gustavo after we lost 8-2 to Man U etc.

    My failures have been: Ganso, Dedé , Leandro Damião, Jeremy Menez & a couple others whose name escape me.

    Bill:
    Borges

    Over the years the ACLF scouting combine has over rated a massive majority of players we have heard about. However, our lack of success is certainly no surprise when you see a team like Munich who in theory should have one of the best scouting services in the world and even they swing and miss at least as often and probably more often then they hit a home run. Faced with the evidence its hard not to be skeptical about someone who is supposed to be the next big thing.

    The biggest problem is you can’t really teach an attacking player how to produce end product in the final 1/3 and its almost imposssible for even the professional scouts to predict if or when it might happen.

  72. Borges Spinelli,

    Do I recall correctly that you live in Toronto area or at least once did?

    In any case, that scouting record is actually quite a bit better than AW’s AFC in the last 5+ years. One thing most indicative of things gone wrong for me: where were the young strikers scouted and developed by AW? After Adebayor and RvP it was a bad record. Sanogo?! He stopped being able to identify and then bring on players like Anelka, TH, RvP, Adebayor. Ok, he spotted that Mbappé was talented, but he couldn’t land him at 17.

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