It’s Another Fine Mess, Ollie & Getting The Tone Right


Another day, another dollar. Or euro, we don’t really mind what is spent or where. Paper talk of a swap deal, using Olivier Giroud as bait for Napoli in a €110m deal for Gonazlo Higuain remains as fanciful as believing we would meet an €80m release clause for the Argentine international.

In paper talk, the deal makes sense. Higuain is prolific and has a proven record in two of Europe’s top leagues. Arsenal are short of goals on a consistent basis; Giroud is a twenty a season striker but prone to prolonged barren spells.

Football isn’t played on paper and despite the chatter from his agent, it strikes me that Arsenal are unlikely to let the French international go. We would, most likely, be better off with Higuain, Akpom and Sanogo than Giroud, Akpom and Sanogo but we’d be much better off with Higuain, Giroud and Akpom. Sorry Yaya, I just don’t think you’re going to make it.

At least you got more goals for Arsenal than Ray Hankin and Clive Allen combined.

We’ve got to do something though otherwise the only fit forwards for the Liverpool game on the opening day of the season will be Chuba Akpom and Yaya Sanogo. I know Arsène likes to give everyone a four-week break but I suspect Alexis will have been back in training for something close to a fortnight, if not longer, given the Copa America finished on 26th June.

Still, we’ve got a have a bit of a panic somewhere, haven’t we. By that time, we’ll have suffered half-a-dozen injuries and the fretting can really begin.

It’s pretty much quiet elsewhere. Thierry Henry had his say and shot down attempts to blame Sky for the kerfuffle over his coaching career but it’s very much a pre-season story or one which will be wheeled out at a time of first-team crisis during the coming season. Or if he pitches up at another club, when Arsenal play them. West Ham are sniffing around him apparently, which must be quite disconcerting to be honest.

Tony Adams, according to this morning’s Telegraph – you see what you’ve done internet, we’ve dropped the ‘Daily‘ out of our life and become a world where news flows continuously through the cesspit of life – is ready to step into Henry’s shoes as a coach with the youths.

Shooting down in flames the tales of the ones which got away, the paper is quick to point out that Wenger has also got Freddie Ljunberg studying for his badges at the club, all the while fanning the flames by pointing out those who are plying their trade elsewhere. It begs the question as to why the same criticism isn’t pointed at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as all of Europe’s other clubs, where former players aren’t re-employed as coaching staff.

Longevity, Arsène, as much as it may be virtuous in some respects, is a curse in others. There is a stability in the coaching staff which underlines his loyalty to allies. There is a stability which hints that a shake-up may be needed to stop the numbing which happens when people fall into a comfort zone. I suspect that is only going to happen with a change in manager; it’s a little late to expect him to change his ways.

And there genuinely isn’t much going on. Which is nice. The calm before the storm people, the calm before the storm.

’til Tomorrow.

127 thoughts on “It’s Another Fine Mess, Ollie & Getting The Tone Right

  1. santori says:

    No I don’t see any World cup hangover. That was just an excuse invented by Wenger.

    reality is he neglected to reinforce at Cback, was enamoured by the idea of Chambers playing in unfamiliar position at young age and then when that leaked goals because of positional immaturity, he attempted to plug the hole with an equally unfamiliar Monreal (which thankfully lated helped his game at fullback…something that may help Chambers similarly should he revert)

    Plain and simple.

    No hangover. Per was confused by his partners and positioning. Nothing to do with lack of pace either.

    Don’t buy into the myth of the ‘Hangover’ (and any subsequent sequels…:D

  2. Aaron says:

    Chambers ain’t no RB. He has no pace, and gets caught chasing by most forwards in the EPL. He can pass, has touch and can play right back when necessary, but does not have the quickness or pace to be a long term solution. Still need a CB not someone who can just cover, and challenge Mert for a position.

  3. C says:

    Didn’t Chambers almost play half a season for us at RB once Debuchy got injured and then Bellerin took over in the first leg againsy Dortmund?

  4. Bill says:


    I bet you a pint of beer that Giroud starts next season as our best option at striker.

    Its only my own guesswork but I suspect the reason Arsene outbid the rest of the world and moved quickly and decisively for Xhaka is that he believes that if he gets the perfect midfield combination then the scoring will take care of itself and then he can be more conservative and value oriented with his pursuit of a striker and if ends up missing on a striker then so be it.

    However, again that is just my own reading of the tea leaves after watching us misfire for players like Suarez, Higuain and Vardy but move so aggresively and quickly for Xhaka and Ozil. For better or worse, now that we are a very wealthy team, it seems like there is much less willingness to compromise and look for value with the midfield.

  5. santori says:

    You don’t necessarily need pace to be a Rback. Monreal isn’t terribly pacy

    Chambers barely played Rback for us. On the number of recent occassions he did, he was very good going forward, need a bit more practise covering defensively (as did Bellerin when he started off)

    YOu don’t remember Chamber’s excellent goal with the outside of his foot? It was well…”world class”.;)

  6. santori says:


    Even with a new striker, Giroud will start.

    Maybe not all the games but the ones that require a CF to break a hole through.

    What we need is different tools.

    We thought we had it with Welbeck and Theo but Theo has been less than consistent and Welbeck unavailable.

    Again there is a reason why Deschamp started Giroud over a Lacazette up top in absence of Benzema. Remember Gicnac was preffered to Lacazette too.

    And Italy did the same with the limited Pelle (Poor man’s Giroud) very effective playing in their second line in Eder and Giacherrini. To many extents, Gomez was also missed playing in Muller and Draxler.

    This does not distract the fact I feel we are missing a bit of technical magic as an option up top which is why Draxler could be the sort of player Wenger can convert into that hybrid role as he did with Th14 and RVP. But this is also risky IF we do not have an experience back up besides Giroud who can deliver as a Draxler will need time to adjust to new position./role

    A morata is more natural to position and encompasses a mixed attributes both physical and technical (plus speed) but price is a factor as in the fully complete Higuain…a t the moment.

  7. Bill says:

    The Germans were probably the worst offenders but the entire team not named Sanchez was sleeping walking thru the first 15 games in the 14/15 season. The lack of urgency even affected the players who did not go to the world cup. Its more guesswork but I suspect the reason Sanchez started so quickly was because he still had the Barca mentality and they don’t take prolonged holidays after a summer tournament and they have to start quickly or they fall behind Real which is not acceptable. It took 1/2 a season for Sanchez to grow into our clubs culture.

  8. santori says:

    We are not misfiring.

    We make an offer at the price we are comfortable for Vardy. He (IMO rightly) prefers to finish as a legend for current club.

    Higuain … nothing has been done.

    Unless you are prey to gossip, I suggest more circumspect. MOst of these trades have never accurately predicted any of our top targets until Wenger was pretty much almost done and dusted. See Cech, for the matter ozil and Alexis all brought in very quickly with no trade gossip for the matter Granit.

    Most people are simply not in the know. If it was out there, it would complicate our proceedings as it would alert competitors.

  9. santori says:

    It will take time to fit in as always. GIroud’s ‘barren spell’ happened when he returned froma knock. This sort of issue with form also happened to Santi and indeed Alexis when they returned to fold last season.

    BUT we have Coquelin already so there is no impact.

    Which is why with a new striker, we will need our most in form striker to be with the club and that is Giroud not Walcott.

  10. santori says:

    I have to go.

    Pleasure conversing with you Bill. At least you seem open.

    Some people tend to have already made up their minds and would prefer to fit things to their own narrative.

  11. Bill says:


    Your idea about using Giroud and a different CF depending on the opponent sounds great in theory but very few teams win big trophies using a CF by committee approach. The only time you use the committee approach and rotate regularly happens when you have 2 CF’s who are both average and relatively equal and its very hard to win with average strikers even if you have 2 of them. The idea that Giroud will score 15 league goals in 1/2 the number of games and the other striker will also score 15 goals in 1/2 the games and between them they will make one really good striker does not fit with reality. We need one top quality striker and Giroud would make a pretty good back up.

  12. C says:

    Is it just me or is it worrying that Bill is being considered open (no offense mate but you are quite bullish) ? 😉


    Enjoy chatting with you mate.

  13. Bill says:

    C @ 7:00PM.

    I don’t usually agree with Santori but he does occasionally make some very good observations. 😉

  14. Buffalo says:

    Santori you have no more idea where we are currently than the Pope. The first eight lines of your 6.23 are ludicrous in so many ways it’s almost a feat. As i said come back to me in early september but meanwhile perhaps i can suggest employing someone to follow you around whispering in your ear, “momento mori”

  15. C says:


    He does make some good points in observations at times, problem is its generally alsp eithef followed by a contradictory statement or some kind of, “Fuck yall I’m smart yall are not.”. O well, adds a but of something different. 😉

  16. Aaron says:

    Monreal has quickness, and very good positional sense, and can read the game-Chambers is not anywhere near this guy.
    It is not just pace, but quickness and getting dragged out of position by attackers making quick passes.
    Think about Sagna, not the biggest, fastest or quickest, but did a damn good job for a very long time because he had all of those combined to make a very good RB, which is now Hector!
    Regarding Giroud, he just needs a quick forward, winger type with touch and pace to compliment him, not another hold up type player.
    Thinking about Euro, Copa, and World flup hangovers- the difference between winning and losing is less than 2% and injury. Messi got injured last year and fell flat in this years final, so did Giroud – he was also injured. Barca are fortunate to have Saurez and Neymar to even out the scoring.
    If all our guys are gassed before season starts that is the difference. Don’t even need to watch the games, will do anyway, but they need rest and recovery. Arsenal have proved that the injury bug has ruined many a season.

  17. Bill says:


    Santori has a different mindset and different opinion compared with the general blog mindset and that stimulates some chatter in the comment section. It would not be much fun if everyone agreed about everything IMO. A blog is different then the sports debates over a water cooler talk or talking sports over beers in the pub because we don’t know each other and it used to get disrespectful and profane but yogi fixed that. However we are here because we like to talk about sports and this is the easiest way to do it and its all in good fun.

  18. jonnygunner says:

    Fair dinkum comment mate.Hats off to you.I read this blog every single day -and keep checking back throughout the day for comments,but I rarely comment-I feel I may end up in a cyber punch up with some of our posters?
    Santori,for all of his constructive comments,can seem as abrasive and ‘I know,you don’t’…….I could be wrong……but I’m sure others on here don’t like being patronised by his way of expressing himself-I,for one,have been patronised by far more intelligent people than him.Also,how does he know what I do/don’t know about sport/football/Arsenal in general?-he generally tends to surmise that others don’t know what he does.I find that offensive at best.He may consider ‘adjusting’ the way he puts himself across and find that people are more accepting of him.
    There again he may too narrow minded to conceive that he’s narrow minded?
    From me to Santori-try diluting your opinions a tickle to become rather more accepted.
    If not,don’t sell out,carry on as you do……..but be prepared to be criticised as you are-an above average tosser.

  19. Bill says:


    plenty of things deserve indignation and even anger such as starved and abused horses here in Texas or people getting blown up or shot for no reason. Santori is not openly disrespectful or profane and its not worth the energy to get upset about someones blogging style. However to each his own.

  20. andy1886 says:

    @Bill, not sure I’d agree about the disrespectful bit, but I will say that at least he’s engaging now rather than stating (frequently inaccurate) ‘facts’ and running away when challenged.

  21. jonnygunner says:

    Bill-I think Santori is disrespectful.
    I agree about the horses in Texas,there are some shitty humans on this planet that are capable of shocking actions.

  22. Damon says:

    An above average tosser!! Ha ha

    I’ll put that in the same can as the turn of phrase I recently heard. “Sub-optimum” to describe something they weren’t keen on

    English is a lovely language sometimes

  23. jonnygunner says:

    Morning Damon….there’s scope for improvement on his part if he’d show a bit more humility.That’s why he’s an above average tosser,not a full blown one.

  24. Damon says:


    I fully appreciated the sentiment and I think you’re about on the money. Please bear in mind that I think everyone is a bit of tosser, it just depends to what degree 🙂

  25. jonnygunner says:

    This morning YW is the tosser cos it’s 10:23…..and no new post ?

  26. YW says:

    Tosser? You should have heard what my son called me because I wouldn’t buy him an £1100 gaming computer. For a big bloke, I can move surprisingly quickly 🙂

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