Wenger for England & Higuain for £78m. A Good Deal…


If there’s something strange
And your country’s football’s no good
Who ya gonna call

Aah, you just have to love the English media. The day after the morning after the night before and the press corps are, like the FA, in complete disarray. They don’t know their arsenal’s from their elbows.

English football, even by its own low standards, has seen rock bottom and drilled straight through it. Roy Hodgson has gone – two years too late – and the wreckage of the Euro 2016 campaign is being surveyed. The players didn’t respect the manager and the supporters don’t respect the players. Despite pundits telling us that they are talented individuals, no-one believes them.

The media have already served notice that it wasn’t any of the Tottenham players fault. Jack Wilshere was culpable, Wayne Rooney ought to retire from international football and Joe Hart’s walking the plank at Manchester City. As opposed to being a plank in the England goal.

And it all misses the point. It was a collective failure with players, manager and coaching staff; they are all to blame. It’s no good the players bleating in the press that they didn’t understand Hodgson’s logic if they don’t raise it with the manager at the time. It simply confirms their spinelessness.

And don’t forget the Football Association, no matter how much you may want to do so. They oversaw the whole shambles and habitually fail to act on the goodwill of supporters. Root and branch reviews bring no new faces to the table with the professional game only interested if it increases their revenues, seemingly oblivious to the notion that a successful England team will do exactly that.

Nonetheless the xenophobia which media successfully tapped into during the recent EU Referendum surfaced on the back pages this morning. Claude Puel’s appointment as Southampton manager was, we are told, a slap in the face for British coaches. Why did the Saints not appoint a British coach?

Particularly Michael O’Neill, the Northern Ireland manager. No-one’s asked O’Neill if he wanted the job or had applied for it but the Euro 2016 campaign means he’s the best-qualified candidate. Apparently.

What’s Puel done, we’re asked, except fail at Lyon and everywhere since, we’re told. Except Nice last season but they are only a mid-table French side, it’s claimed, who fluked fourth in Ligue Un. Effectively third if you accept PSG will always win it. He hasn’t won a trophy in more than a decade, they sneered.

This remember is Southampton we’re talking about. Yes, that Southampton, the ones who finished sixth in the Premier League last season. And haven’t won a major trophy in half a century. Yup.

O’Neill may be a good candidate but with his previous jobs as Brechin and Shamrock Rovers boss, it might be that the Saints board thought he lacked top flight managerial experience. And a proven record of developing young players, something Puel has done in the past. With Southampton’s business model, those are key requisites.

It’s a chicken and egg, I understand that. How can you get the experience if you don’t get the job but no disrespect to O’Neill, he’s this weeks flavour of the month. The grumpy complaint that he’s likely to only get appointed a championship manager is right; Alan Stubbs took Hibs to third in Scotland and left to go to Rotherham.

Anyway, the point of all this? Well, Puel is derided for not winning a title in a dozen years, especially with Lyon who were France’s dominant club at the time he was there. So who do the hacks want as England manager? Arsène Wenger.

Yes, that Arsène Wenger, the one derided for not winning a Premier League title in a dozen years…

I wouldn’t argue with the appointment; it solves a couple of problems and might make the national team more palatable for some. The issue is expectations. If you think they are high at Arsenal, they are higher with England. You only have to look at the criticism of the set-up now to see that.

That said, Wenger is the sort of appointment the FA needs to make. Someone with a history of achievement, with a reputation to inspire players and who can change the functional footballing mentality. I don’t think, though, that he’d be able to improve Harry Kane’s set-pieces. You only have to look at our record on corners and free kicks to be unimpressed.

Nor would he make us any more defensively solid in the face of aerial bombardments; we’re not good at facing that type of pressure at Arsenal. But he would breath life into a tired Football Association. Every characteristic they want is ticked; if only he wasn’t one of those pesky Europeans.

The media are even prepared to suggest that the FA appoint an interim manager for the last twelve months of his contract. It’s not a bad idea although a nudge from Stan in the right direction…

It won’t happen. Wenger has rejected France previously and at his age, does he need the grief that comes with the England job? Even the media favourites such as Venables end up being hammered onto the cross and crucified in the back pages.

Still, at least it’s given ‘Arry a chance to remind everyone he’s still alive.

On the Arsenal front, Gonzalo Higuain has a £78m release clause and has stalled on a new deal with Napoli with that very clause being the reason. His agent – also his brother – reckons that 91 goals in 146 appearances is a good enough reason for the club to do that. Ahem.

’til Tomorrow.

73 thoughts on “Wenger for England & Higuain for £78m. A Good Deal…

  1. Highbury says:

    If both deals (Wenger and Higuain) were to happen, it would be fantastic for all parties concerned. We say goodbye to our most successful manager and also get a top striker. If only…

  2. Highbury says:

    I would have to say if Vardy is valued at 20m and Kane at 100m, 78m for Higuain is a dead give away.

  3. Phil says:

    Wenger for England.
    Start printing the bumper stickers.
    I will run and up and down the Champs Élysées sticking them on slow moving vehicles as they try to avoid hitting tourists taking selfies.

  4. andy1886 says:

    Higuain? Isn’t he that guy that AW thought wasn’t worth £30m three years ago when he was 25 and had many good years in front of him? Now we’d have to more than double that for a much older player. Great economics….

    Good to see that the press think that the best person to sort out England, a team who pass the ball to death, play though the middle and have zero penetration while being iffy at the back is a manager who demonstrates exactly the same qualities in his club football.

  5. jonnygunner says:

    You could argue that Engerland were very Arsenalesque with their play in the Euros,you know,all possession,pressing,no end result.In that sense YW,I think you’ve already hit on it with Vardy-he looked completely out of it.He fits at the Foxes,but he wouldn’t have done it with Arsenal,we’ve dodged a bullet indeed.
    If Arsene got away with his tactics last season,he’s going to get well and truly found out this season.With the influx of 3 top managers…..and counting…..he needs to adopt different methods or he’s going to get caught with his shorts around his ankles-especially if the Spuds don’t implode again.That would put Utd,City,Chlelski,The Spuds and possibly a couple of others up there for us to fight with,with the first 3 being obvious not only due to their managers but also the funding they have at their disposal.
    I do feel Ronald Koeman would have been the man for us but it wasn’t to be-Arsene wasn’t ready to go,and I’m certain this will be his last season at the helm.If the FA could tempt him with the England job it would be an ‘honourable’ way to depart without losing face.The only downside is that England wouldn’t play any differently.

  6. Pete the Thirst says:

    I sincerely hope, but doubt, Wenger has a centre forward lined up. Higuaín fits the bill, but as Andy said would he pay £60m now if he wouldn’t pay £30m a few seasons back?

    I have read that Palace and West Ham have put bids in of £30m+ for Michy Batshuayi. Apart from the goal for Belgium the other evening I know very little about him. This shows we’re going to have to pay big for top players to out-bid our rivals.

    Wenger at the moment reminds me of George Graham in his latter years where he refused to pay top money for players because it was against his parsimonious style.

    Meanwhile £200m is sitting in the vaults at Arsenal losing value as transfer inflation runs wild.

  7. Highbury says:


    Missed you for a while! Holiday?

  8. YW says:


    Reports this morning have Chelsea in at €40m with Batshuayi given permission to leave the Belgian camp for a medical.

  9. C says:

    Yogi, I tip my hat to you!

    Arsene to manage England, well wouldn’t that be interesting but not sure it would ever happen plus are the England players capable of playing a pass and move stylr, based on the Euro’s, nope! Also, there is thr little problem of the political landscape in England, errrr ummm could you imagine a French managing thr English!?!?!?!?

    Higuain for 78m, now that would be interesting. Would certainly be a top striker and would certainly get us the goals and I would have no problem with it but I know others might. 45m for Lacazette seems more likely though.

  10. Orson Kaert says:

    Good morning, we are told there is a dearth of good, young, English coaches. The FA have spent a fortune on the centre of excellence(?) at St. Georges. It is there to train those good, young English Coaches. But who are the skilled, experienced older coaches that are supposedly training them?

  11. C says:


    If true, then that is a really good move but also leaves the door open for Lukuka……

    I know some wouldn’t get him but technically he is best of the Belgian strikers and his pace and strength plus his finishing ability certainly gives hin room to grow and develop especially under Conte.

  12. Wavey says:


    I really see the England job having the pull to attract Wenger. If it was the France job I could see him being tempted this time around. In those circumstances he may well be tempted to wait until towards the end of the season to sign a new deal, but not with England. I’m still expecting the new deal to be signed by Xmas.

  13. Pete the Thirst says:

    @YW Chelsea parked on the lawn firing £50 notes again.

    @C Lukaku yes please. That drum with Lacazette’s face on must be getting worn.

  14. Wavey says:

    Should have started as:

    “I don’t really see….”.

    Not sure how my iPhone decided to lose a word there.

  15. dukey says:

    Maybe they want Wenger for his4 th place impeccable record.. 4th place at a championships would be a big success for us….clever thinking.

    Seriously though what about Becks? No seriously..

  16. C says:


    That drum might be getting worn but make no mistake, should we get Lacazette, there will be plenty of hands beating on that drum with me!

  17. C says:

    Hearts and minds are with those friends and families of all who were at the Instanbul airport

  18. Bufallo says:

    The next England manager should be Lars Lagerback….never lost to England has vast international experience and can bring the kind of humility and straight forward thinking that English football needs. All about the team nothing to do with the individual. But i imagine that sponsors dictate that for example Rooney/Hart continue playing so we will end up with a patsy like Southgate and be in exactly the same position in a dozen years. I personally would like to see a limit on the number of non british players in each starting eleven throughout the leagues. Bored of the total over hyped money train that is the premier league….would leicester have won the german or spanish league ? No chance. P.s anyone see this beautiful quote from belgian tv about hodgson during the iceland game ‘Roy Hodgson is watching this game like a cow watching a train pass by. He has no idea what is happening.’

  19. andy1886 says:

    Hiya Highbury – I’ve been in occasionally but lots of work stuff going on right now (I have three roles rather than just the one I originally signed up to!). Perhaps I should use Arsene as an example of how taking on too much leads to less effective performance!

    Anyway, nice to know that my constant sniping at AW has been missed 😉

  20. C says:

    Leicester signing this version of Ben Arfa on a free would be a coup especially paired with Vardy and Mahrez on the counter.

  21. C says:


    Taking on three roles and following Arsene’s example sounds like you may be working with some unhappy coworkers but at least you will have the backing of the higher-ups for life no matter the performance.

    Its all about job security! 😉

  22. C says:

    Sorry Yogi in advance but I need to vent a bit…..

    I support the Brasilian national team and with that comes a true dislike for the Argentina national team and thus Messi but it is a shame if he truly does retire and even more so at the way that Maradona is acting towards Messi. For all too long Maradona has been on this campaign to remind us all that he was arguably the greatest player of all time(for that there really is no argument) but in doing so he is also reminding the world of futbol just how shitty of a person he is. I mean he has said Messi will never be Maradona and so on and so forth and before and during both the World Cup and this year’s Copa America he basically spat on Messi saying he wasn’t a leader and didn’t have the personality to lead a team. Well Maradona, if he isn’t a leader then why are you on a personal campaign to try to change his mind about retirement because if he doesn’t retire he is going to stay Captain and the leader of Argentina. Yea Mascherano maybe the fire and spirit of this Argentina generation but Messi is its leader.

    Fuck I hate people like that.

  23. HenryB says:

    Good Afternoon, 🙂

    AW said, as recently as last week on Bein TV, where he is their co-commentator, that he would not become the next France manager as that ship had sailed, and he was too old for the job.

    How likely is it that he would take on the England job as the travails of age are immutable, and I don’t think he is going to get any younger? That rumour is a ‘hareng rouge’ as the French don’t say. 😀

  24. C says:

    Michy Batshuayi has been pulled by Belgium from his press conference.

  25. C says:

    Reports say Tony Adams is set to work with Henry and the U-18’s

  26. Highbury says:


    To be honest, I am already in the post-Wenger period. I have never been one of his harshest critics, but now I don’t even feel the inclination to snipe at him any more. It must be that my brain has developed this indifferent response as a way of dealing with constant disappointment. The challenge will certainly come if he signs another contract. I just have no idea how I am going to deal with that. Watching Conte outsmart and outplay Spain had me thinking- this is the kind of manager I want at Arsenal. Can the “serene” ethos at Arsenal accommodate a character like Conte?

    Help me understand what replacing Hodgson with Southgate achieves. Michael Owen takes the biscuit though- he thinks Hoddle is the best man for the job. What have we done to deserve these “pundits”?

  27. buckagh says:

    Apparently there is a video of Conte shouting at a player that he would kill him in the first group match. I know its a bit of hyperbole, but I like the passion I’m looking forward to seeing in the Pre league

  28. Highbury says:


    I know that they say man management requires that each player be treated as an individual, but I like it when players know that they will be “killed” should their performances be below expectations. What was very impressive for me was that the Italians had a very clear plan, which they stuck to without fear. You could see that they had done their homework. All that was needed was the conviction to execute the plan. The man’s glare is enough to remind players of their responsibilities.

  29. C says:


    There is nothing wrong with that and because there seems to generally be a feeling he might get a new contract I wish I could join you in the post-Wenger period. For me its certainly in the “meh” Wenger period, where we know what we have and what we will get so I’m not going to stress over it, more enjoy the ups and downs and as I did most of the time last season, enjoy the players and their performances. I would love a Conte like manager tactically and I think there are plenty out there. I know some may not like it but I wouldn’t mind Lowe who seems to mix that laissez faire attitude with good tactical awareness. Teh thing I don’t think will go over well though, is a new contract for Arsene.

    Southgate pretty much achieves nothing. What have you done to deserve these pundits……….ummmm unfortunately its because they make the best ratings given their “brilliant” analysis.

  30. C says:

    Everybody wants us to sign a striker, well the strangest rumor of the day:

    21-year-old Japanese striker Takuma Asano, who you might ask, hell I don’t even know who he is!

  31. philmar says:

    Though not possible, it would be great if Pochettino got the England job. He’s done well with most of the England Spud contingent…plus it would get him out of Tottenham and he could be replaced by a crap manager.

  32. Orson Kaert says:

    All pundits are addicted to cliches, sadly there are a finite number of cliches. What we need are less pundits and more cliches.

    Can we not coin new cliches for the pundits to use. It doesn’t matter if the new cliches are meaning less, the pundits will use them regardless.

    For instance, “it’s a game of two halves”, could become “football is played in two 45 minute segments”. Or “he went down a bit easily there” could become “cheating bastard”.

    Please feel free to make up your own cliches. 😀

  33. Bill says:

    Thanks for another great post yogi

    I can’t think of very many football things that would make me happier then having Arsene coaching England. He has been here for so long that he needs a new challenge and a change of scenery. It would be interesting to see what would happen over at Untold Arsenal. Would they start to follow England?

  34. C says:

    Seems Barca are intent on strengthening their defense with teh signing of Samuel Umtiti from Lyon.

  35. Highbury says:


    I am with you on Arsene coaching England. It could actually work very well. I must confess that my main motivation is to get him to leave Arsenal.

  36. Master John says:


    And you expected Roy Hodgson to defeat his relatives

  37. santori says:

    Frankly, not sure why the FA does not consider a “BRITISH’ manager and instead obsess with limiting themselves as having to find English ONLY…now they want a Frenchman?

    They could go begging to Sir Alex.

    Personally, I feel that’s what England really need, someone who owns a proper hairdryer…and someone who is no compromise machavailian.

  38. santori says:

    England frankly spursed it up.

    Roy banked on Tottenham, the media wanted to believe in the whole Spurs story…and it blew up in their face.

    ‘Youngest team etc’

    The sad state of affairs in English football at the moment.

    Delle Ali I felt was potentially impressive but the rest of the players have always been over hyped by the media.

  39. santori says:

    If we’re going French, I believe Laurent Blanc will be available.

  40. santori says:

    Higuain at 78m is a ‘suggested price’

    This is agent talk.

    Does not mean there will be a team that will pay that price. Of course you can never know.

    He is 28yrs and his price is likely to drop even with his scoring antics.

    So his brother is fishing for either a last hurrah or an improved extension with Napoli.

  41. C says:


    Blanc is available as PSG let him go and they hired I think it was Emery from Sevilla.

  42. Bill says:


    Arsene as the England manager seems like a win win for everyone to me. The only problem for Arsene would be that his job security would not be as solid as it is now. He has our owner and our board pretty well under his thumb. It would be a risk for Arsene but just think of the upside for him. Arsene’s reputation amongst most fans has suffered a bit in this decade, I think. The expectations for England are a lot lower right now compared to Arsenal and just imagine the accolades that would come if he could somehow rebuild English football. It would truly place his name among the greatest football managers in history and it could be the crowning achievement of his career

  43. nicky says:

    Whoever is crazy enough to take on the England football team should realise that the post is likened to the “kiss of death”.
    The manager will need to persuade his squad to apply their club form to his tactics. He will see them far too infrequently, fight battles with club managers over fitness problems and try to regain a sense of pride from those who he selects to represent our country.
    At the moment I am not convinced that these players have got their priorities right. Wages and lifestyle have escalated to such a degree that international caps have been devalued, taken for granted and performance has suffered.
    There is a need to return to the days when players would regard membership of the national squad was the pinnacle of their trade.

  44. santori says:

    Personally felt Blanc or Deschamp (not merely because they are French) could be an interesting candidate for Arsenal.

    Perhaps Blanc will shoe into the France job and Deschamp may come on market following Euros.

    May share close to similar ethos to Wenger.

    But timing may be an issue.

    I don’t think Wenger is showing any indication that he will honour the media’s wild imagination.

    I still think the England team need a strong headed no nonsense curmudgeon like Fergie.

    He’s a proud Scot so it’ll take some convincing but its the one thing left out of his resume and as bad as England is, Scotland is in even dire straits talent-wise.

    The English team have qualities to go further but they need to know how to shape a game to their strengths.

  45. santori says:

    Wenger cannot turn England around.

    He is not a quick fix manager.

    The world cup is in two seasons. This is a dream concocted by the media and believed by fools.

    You need someone with the authority to hairdryer these young pups and a system based on practicality.

    Wenger is too much of an idealist for the short term.

  46. santori says:

    The only reason why some people want to believe Wenger is good for England is because they want to stoke the fire that Wenger should leave Arsenal.

    Lets be honest.

    Its neither good for England nor for Arsenal at this point of time.

  47. santori says:

    And lest we get all caught up in hyperbolic red herrings (sounds fishy), Wenger is not entirely poor tactically (although he does suffer from inexplicable decisions on occassion)…he did not get defeated by Leicester and we did beat City (less so Chelsea and their antics). He also beat Klopp last trumpeted as a tactical genius (who got beat by Sevilla’s erm…now PSG man)

    In truth Wenger’s strong suit is his acute knowledge of the market. He is brilliant here and it covers some of his faults (less so if he doesn’t elect to buy well)

    But he is also a good development manager (although this road generally cost him along the way). He converted Santi, Kolo, Henry, RVp to new positions to great effect but he has also recently brought through Bellerin, Iwobi, Campbell,and not too long ago Coquelin (all young players with good potential)

    He has also bought very well snatching Ozil from a host of clubs who could have spent on him, not to mention Alexis and Cech and (most importantly) Santi.

    But I’m not sure these are the requisites for a good England man.

    There is a more finite supply chain to England (particularly in short term leading to world cup)

    You really need a very practical person who can harness what he has and instill a bit of shock and aw in his (young) charges. That’s what Fergie can do (as in 96)

  48. Paul says:

    They hate Arsene Wenger and they know England will fail in the future. No wonder they want to put them together so they can blame it all on Wenger with full venom.

  49. Bill says:


    Managers have to adapt to new situations which is why I think Arsene would be good for England and England might be good for Arsene. The idealism and stubbornness that has characterized the second half of his reign has developed because there has been no reason for him to adapt. His job security is completely unquestioned and no one in our organization can second guess anything and he has been unwilling to delegate since the start of the Emirates Era. Fergie was able to stay fresh because he changed things over the years and always had new coaches and new ideas and he shared some of the responsibility. Almost any manager not named Fergie who was put into a situation as manager friendly as Arsene has built for himself would have probably fallen into the same trap as Arsene. I think that is part of the reason why so few managers of top teams last very long in this decade. The good ones know that they have to change scenery and move to new situations to avoid going stale.

    The point of all of that is that Arsene was seen as revolutionary and he changed some of the ideas in English club football in the first part of his reign and it culminated in the Invincibles. Perhaps it is to late now but I wonder if Arsene could adapt if he was put into a new situation. .

  50. santori says:

    The last thing England needs is molly coddling of the players.

    This is the problem because it isn’t the players that are afraid, it is the manager.

    He does not carry enough authority or stature.

    If you look at England (granted there is too much SPurs DNA), you cannot say they lack talent say compared to err Iceland.

    What they lack is a bit of balls.

    That’s exactly why you need someone not afraid to put them right at half time (organise the Cbacks and defense) AND be of sufficient stature to scare them a little.

    Wenger is not this sort of person. He is too laissez fair and requires a longer time to fine tune a team to his ethos that will work on automatic. Pretty much he likes to develop an open framework and leave interpretation on the pitch to his players (hence the jazz)

    Fergie on the other hand will get a grip of the backline and organise them regardless of how mediocre they are.

    It may not be pretty but he will grind out a result.

    Fergie IMO is a better man for England. He has nothing to lose either even if he fails with England. His reputation won’t go tarnished at his age and considering past achievements, hence less fear factor (if none) on his part)

    Just depends if they can convince him t manage the hated enemy.;)

  51. santori says:

    Arsene’s type of change is all encompassing and takes time. It is a long term project that England does not have the luxury for.

  52. santori says:

    @Paul…exactly this is just media imagined nonsense for the gullible and for the fools that listen to them.

    They are stoking discontent at Arsenal nothing more.

    a) Wenger won’t take the England job.

    b) He won’t suit what England need now 2 years from World Cup

    c) It’s not the type of management the English players need.

    Sans Wenger the options are of course shallow…you could maybe think of old twitchy redknapp as possible but he might Spurs it up too. I think Mark Hughs isn’t bad (certainly a better option than Southgate) putting a team together but again he has had the option of world market where England’s supply chain is more finite.

    Actually, maybe Alladyce for all his negativity and limits may be another OK candidate because he knows how to play to his strength and work within his means. This is what Iceland is doing.

    But none of these are as tactically acute as Fergie is or ruthless or command the same level of respect.

  53. Bill says:


    In 2016 nothing can be kept secret and all the information available on the Internet and players agents marketing their players to the world and trying to get the best price and best deal for their clients. What in the world makes you think that a manager can somehow sneak in and get a player when lots of other teams would have been willing to pay more. That seems amazingly far fetched.

    Why would any selling team not let the other big teams know that the player is for sale so they could get the best price? Why would any players agent try to keep things quite instead of trying to get the best possible deal for his player. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    There are occasional exceptions like Cech who apparantly wanted to stay in London. However, in the vast majority of cases in this decade you buy players when you are willing to spend the most money in transfer fees and just like with Vardy you have to be willing to give the players satisfactory wage deals.

  54. Bill says:


    Paranoid delusions about the media are favorite pastime of a lot of Arsenal fans.

  55. Bill says:

    What happened with Higuain is probably a good example. Madrid did not just sell him to us for the whatever we were offering. They looked around and jacked up the price when they knew other teams were interested. It’s incredibly naive to think that a selling club could be tricked into selling a player to us for less then they could get from other clubs.

  56. Bill says:

    Xhaka is a going to be a good player who fits perfectly into our system. Arsene loves technically gifted midfielders who are good at ball possession and passing and that skill set is not a valuable to most other teams. There are lots and lots of good DM and most big teams already have a good one and I suspect the reason we got him was no one was willing to bid more then $35M.

    We heard about Elneny in mid/late December but did not buy him until mid/late January. He fits better with our system then he would in most other teams so it was a good purchase at that price for us. However, the rest of the world had plenty of time to put in a bid and if someone else had been interested the price would have increased.

  57. The Arse in Namib (AITG) says:

    We don’t have decent coaches because we have rarely had intelligent players. This is also hindered by not having a system of play that is reflected in our league structure.
    On the first issue, I believe the youth system still picks ‘big men’ and does not encourage creative footballers leading to brawn over brain in the leagues and in support of this theory I note that foreign players speaking in their second language are often more creative than ours talking in their first and it follows that if these footballers grow up to be managers, they just don’t have the nous to carry the game.
    On the 2nd point, one of the fascinating things about watching the PL is all the different styles, formations and permutations, but when it comes to putting 11 men on the field for England they have all been used to other things and endless experiments are tested to try to build a formation around a team of ever changing overpaid idiots than get the best players who will fit into a well established system that everyone knows; the only variable should be the players and drills and routines remain the same.

  58. Bill says:

    Other clubs are more then willing to come in with a bigger bid at the last minute and selling clubs are more then happy to take a bigger payday. Chelsea took Matta from us at the last minute because they outbid us. There is no reason to believe the same thing would not happen with any player we are buying.

    The only way to decrease the likelyhood of losing a player you want is to bid aggressively. Credit to Arsene for being willing to suspend his ultra conservative value ethos for a player he really wants or thinks he needs to keep us in the top 4.

  59. C says:


    Can I correct you a bit, most big teams value and want midfielders that can keep the ball, its why they are so expensive. Think about it, outside of strikers what position is probably the most valued, technically gifted midfielders.

    Also, Xhaka was wanted by Bayern but Xhaka himself said he didn’t want to play for them and there were reports in Germany that they did bid north of 35m for him.

    But continue on, didn’t mean to interupt and wanted you to have the most information to make the best points. 😉

  60. Bill says:

    Any team wants all of its players to have the highest possible technical quality. However, ball possession is more highly valued by us compared to most teams. Players who are ball possession specialists such as Elneny or Denilson or Song fit better in our system then they do in most other teams. You know that as well as I. Elneny was a great value for us because he fits so well with what Arsene wants to do. However, that low price meant that almost any other team in the world could have bid on him if they had been interested. That seems straight forward to me.

    If Munich was really willing to bid more then $35M and we still got him then we were lucky and he must have wanted to leave Germany. However, I am reasonably confident that Munich could have lured him away with a big enough wage package if they felt he would have been a big enough upgrade compared to the players they have. It certainly was not a great value purchase for us and the number of teams who would have been in the hunt for a DM in that price range is very limited. Again that seems pretty straight forward..

  61. Bill says:

    The point of all of this is a very long winded way to say that I disagree with Santori’s theory that Arsene gets players for less then a lot of other teams would be willing to pay because he is so good at manipulating the market.

  62. C says:

    I guess people missed my Japan International striker comment, apparently Arsrbal did go in for him as he said he was even stunned.

    Driving so can’t provide a link but look it up.

  63. Bill says:

    Until proven otherwise, a Japan international striker no one has ever heard of is about is about as exciting as Park Chu-Young in 2011 and less exciting then the signing of Yaya Sanogo. Nothing wrong with taking a punt on a player. Hopefully it won’t be used as an excuse to avoid getting involved in the big money bidding for an established striker.

  64. YW says:

    Ludicrous if we are. We’ve got enough bit part players already. What we desperately need is quality.

  65. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:


    For someone that doesn’t actually know anything, you suspect much. I suspect, but I don’t know, that you make it up to suit a narrative.

  66. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    We have quality Yogi. We have quality TV deals, quality generating monies and quality in betraying fans. We have loads of qualities!

  67. Bill says:


    You are difficult to please. You used to get upset when someone made a comment and did not say “I suspect” or “I think”. I thought the purpose of those disclaimers was to make it clear that the comment was only an opinion.

  68. C says:

    It would be very interesting to if he was bought. What would be the reason, maybe PR but from the reports I read he is barely an international but did win Young Player of the Year.


    Well, there is your post for tomorrow! 😉

  69. C says:

    Sky reporting Batshuayi has passed his medical ahead of his move to Chelsea for somewhere in the neighborhood of 33m.

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