Making Up Is Hard To Do & An Early Season Drama Or Is It A Crisis?


The trouble with transfer rumours are that even the hacks get sick of them sometimes. You can tell that’s happened when a ludicrous story appears.

The instant you see it, you recognise it for what it is but there’s always that one element which nags at your brain and rather than completely dismiss it, the seed is planted and you spend more time than you should naturally, considering the circumstances which might make it plausible.

We’re at that point this morning. The Championship sides have begun their pre-season friendlies but the Premier League clubs – certainly the ‘big boys’ – they aren’t really starting yet. Liverpool had a couple but they don’t matter; there’s little European potential in them and in any case, facing non-league and semi-professional teams don’t count.

So there’s time to be occupied and column inches filled. Rather than resort to the rambling introduction ahead of a meandering post like this one, the true professionals steam straight in and just make things up. There’s a creativity needed in this process, one which is strangely admirable.

The story has to be about someone that no-one else is writing about. Not before you anyway; they all copy each other afterwards, adding their own angle to be different. Copy is the wrong word since this is an industry where plagiarism is frowned upon; no slight intended, gentlemen.

We see enough stories about £100m men and £50m men to know that frankly, if Arsenal are involved, there is but a remote chance of it happening and even that’s optimistic. We didn’t get to be the 23rd richest sports franchise in the world by spending money and investing in the squad; Arsenal simply let it sit there in the bank, looking all pretty.

Anyway, we’re linked with Lacazette and Draxler with an almost admirable stamina. Even if the protagonists say the opposite, we’re still interested. In fairness, Klaus Allofs did hint Draxler may be sold this summer as Wolfsburg are feeling the pinch with Volkswagen cutting their funding.

But those are run-of-the-mill stories, embellished and enhanced from other sources. What we need is a far out and wacky story, one to produce belly laughs galore and that momentary sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Thomas Vermaelen to Arsenal. Now that he’s match fit, the Belgian wants to leave Barcelona and because he’s got a pulse, West Ham United are interested. Even if he didn’t, Messrs Gold and Sullivan would probably be sniffing around; they strike me as those kind of people.

But because West Ham have chased everything this summer, the Mirror’s Aaron Flanagan needed to add something to piqué your interest. Arsenal’s untapped transfer window reserves of angst make them the perfect fodder. And the fact that the medical staff will be seriously under-employed now that Tomas Rosicky has left the club, lends itself to signing an injury-prone over-30 defender.

As if.

Still, it’s got me through the 500 – word barrier which is no mean feat.

The genuine news…no, I’ll stop there.

Alexis is apparently struggling to overcome an injury which means that Theo Walcott is the only fit striker. That’s news to Chuba Akpom but perhaps Arsène spoke to him before Crossy broke the news. Whether there is any truth in the extent of Alexis’ injury is open to debate.

We know the Chilean suffered ankle-knack during the summer. Much to foot fetishists delight, he posted pictures of the damaged appendage whilst on holiday in New York. To what extent he is a risk for the opening game in a month’s time is hard to gauge unless he’s returned to London for scans and examination by a specialist. As long as it wasn’t Dr Ruth who diagnosed him, we should OK.

Still, there’s nothing like a good injury crisis to get you into the spirit of the coming season is there…

’til Tomorrow.


68 thoughts on “Making Up Is Hard To Do & An Early Season Drama Or Is It A Crisis?

  1. C says:

    Could we really go into this season with only Theo and Yaya given Akpom is likely to head out on loan?

  2. andy1886 says:

    Morning YW, Morning C, Morning everyone else!

    I do actually believe that we will sign a striker before the season starts, which for me counts as optimism. However (and you knew that something like this was coming) it’s likely to be someone that most of us have never heard of (may a half-Colombian, half Albanian prospect from Spain’s Segunda División – there may actually be one, I haven’t checked).

    It wouldn’t stop those inclined bigging the guy up as a stroke of genius because of course he will be the next TH14 (or whoever your favourite ex-star striker might be), and obviously there will be others who will assume that it’s odds on that he’s crap and will quietly slink out of the back door in a year or two (Park Chu-young anyone?) but either way by the time we find out it will be too late to do anything about it.

    And of course come January we’ll have ‘World Class’ Giroud into double figures (before the annual slump) and Welbeck will be nearly back and ‘like a new signing’.

    You wouldn’t bet against it would you?

  3. Wavey says:


    I do love the transfer rumours. Always worth a good belly laugh. I’m particularly amused that any link is now caveated by the statement that the price quoted is too high. So even the guys writing the articles know there is zero chance of us actually signing the players we are linked with. My feeling is that we have bought our £30m+ guy for this summer, so any other purchases will be at the cheaper end of the scale. The bid for Vardy was one of those opportunistic bargain trades. I don’t think it was handled that badly either. We triggered his buyout which was accepted in principle and then talked to the player. Our only mistake was not setting a decent deadline on the response which then allowed it all to play out in a will he, won’t he drama in the press.

    The one thing I don’t understand though is why we didn’t go in for Janssen if we are shopping at Aldi. For that price we will struggle to get anyone with his goal scoring record, albeit in the Dutch league. Even a bid for one of the underperformers who has done well in the past, such as Benteke or Bony, is going to cost around £30m. Maybe we did bid for Janssen and he just wanted to go to Spurs, but I would expect some gloating from them if that were the case.

  4. DeiseGooner says:

    It does really look like we had no striker backup plan to signing Vardy doesn’t it? We really must have thought it ‘in the bag’ – but even so that’s very poor planning. Have we not learned from past situations, it seems not.

  5. C says:


    Actually I might bet against it. I genually do believe that we will make more signings of which one of them will either be a striker, a winger, or a winger/striker but I do wonder of what quality. I think those that say Henry wasn’t on the radar need to remember his CV when he was in France.

  6. andy1886 says:

    @C – I did say I thought that we would sign a striker – just one of dubious quality. So it looks like we are on the same page as they say. By the time we find out if they are any good or not it will be too late and come January Arsene can fall back on Giroud and Welbeck and round we go again 😆

  7. olamide says:

    Still I am amazed why we most don’t look at Chicharito. He scores goals anywhere he goes and he has EPL experience plus he is the perfect griezmann type player who can play alongside Giroud or by himself depending on formation. He is cheaper and better than most strikers we ve linked with this summer

  8. Bill says:

    Yogi: this time of year is when you really demonstrate your brilliance. We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for news and yet you still write a marvelous post. You da man!!

    I have banged on about my lack of interest in Draxler but if we are not going to buy anyone else then we might as well get him or someone, anyone. If we don’t buy someone then I assume the money will first go into the black hole called of our reserve fund and gather dust in a bank vault somewhere for a while. Perhaps there really is a Gringotts and the money is guarded by goblins and a fire breathing dragon which prevents us from using it. We certainly win the trophy for the largest cash reserves in world football every year. If its not spent on a player then I assume the cash will eventually end up increasing the thickness of Stan’s wallet which I think is rather irritating but that is just me.

  9. Akshay says:

    I actually wonder why we even bother with Hernandez to be honest, Ferguson thought of him as he did with Welbeck that is, a backup. He works best as an impact striker off the bench, but struggles to get into games when everything doesn’t go according to plan.

    Wait, was I talking about Giroud?

  10. dukey says:

    I’m going on strike until we sign a proven striker.

    I can’t support under these terms and conditions. The offers on the tables are not satisfactory. . Asking us to support when we. Are ill equipt and under funded
    Who’s with me?

  11. Wavey says:

    Offered two tickets to Arsenal v Liverpool, but they ended up going to someone else for £200 for the pair. I think I dodged a bullet there as I wouldn’t have been happy to fork out that much given the likely attacking line up.

  12. C says:


    Yup, though I will hold out hope that the new striker can find some form and and not rush Welbeck back. OR maybe Theo will re-find his motivation and form and start scoring goals again.

  13. Wavey says:

    I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake because I’ve tried not to get sucked into the transfer rumours too often this summer. I’ve just realised that Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Spurs have all signed new forwards this summer. Not bad considering there isn’t much on offer. Maybe that’s why some of the big names are making noises that they are happy at their clubs, because the three big boys in the PL are not shopping for strikers.

  14. andy1886 says:


    Either of those two things would be nice, not sure that I’d put money on it though!

    More importantly by Christmas we should know what Arsene’s future plans are. For the club to leave it to his whim to decide right up to the last minute would be nothing short of a dereliction of duty on the part of the BoD.

    That said history suggests that they could very well do just that.

  15. C says:


    Well we ALL know that the BoD will leave it up to Arsene, hell they have said as much multiple times. I think the thing will be what happens (and I actually think we will get off to a good start) and the other big clubs with their shiny new managers are within touching distance or ahead of us. That’s the thing and the reason more so than ever to invest, not crazily but for sure investment is needed.

    I think Theo has a role to play (though its shaky) and he will certainly be counted on in the early stages of the season. I know its unfair but if Giroud is well and truly our #1 then he CAN’T come back like he did after the World Cup especially if rumors of Sanchez being more injured than he is letting on are true.

  16. Buffalo says:

    Agree Olamide I’d have Chicarito happily at this stage….yes there are question marks over him in the premier league but it’s not like we dont already have questions marks all over our front line. He is a great finisher when he gets a run going as he showed at Man Utd and last season setting records at Leverkeusen.

  17. C says:

    I would gladly take Chichaito, he knows the PL and knows how to score goals of all sorts. Problem is, LEverkrusen will want a pretty penny and as he has just joined them they aand he has scored some goals for him they will certainly not be in a rush to sell.

  18. C says:

    So Jack is headed back to training tomorrow from holiday according to him. Uhhhhh hasn’t he been on holiday for quite some time now!

  19. HenryB says:

    Well really! We cannot even rely on the Lord Yogi to give us reliable transfer information with his ‘we are interested in Lacazettte’ spiel.

    The boss man at Lacazette’s club, Lyon, has forthrightly said that he did not know where this claptrap about Arsenal being interested in his man came from, as no such contact, let alone an offer, had been made.

    Naturally, I sent him an email fingering Yogi, and explaining that he was only trying to pass 500 words with his mean feet, having waved goodbye to his standard 1,000 worder, cos nothing was going on – at Arsenal, at least. 😀

  20. C says:

    Damn not much going on in the PL, Conte had his presser which wasn’t nearly as “burn down everything” as Mourinho’s was.

  21. nicky says:

    The more I anticipate the rumours, counter-rumours and sheer fairy stories infesting the internet, press and airways, about would-be Arsenal signings for the next 6 or 7 weeks, the more I am persuaded that Arsene Wenger’s view of a permanent free-for-all in the transfer market has a great deal of merit.
    Imagine the absence of early forecasting by scribes and pundits, followed by a crescendo of outright panic as the Window closing date approaches. Fenestration would revert to its original meaning!
    Sheer heaven certainly, for all who follow our great Club, are of a nervous disposition and have high blood pressure. 😉

  22. santori says:

    There is no drama except in the minds of some.

    We have Campbell, Iwobi, Ox fighting for selection. One of these players or more may step up further this season because of the extra playing time. Also Gnabry is likely to push for inclusion too.

    At the same time Walcott (unless we sell him) is still around.

    Plus we’ve played for large periods last season (with good effect) without Alexis as we did with Ramsey and Flamini having to hold in midfield. The impact of these injuries to key players has been minimise in recent times because of the excellent cover we now have.

    Which is why I found it puzzling some people had to find time to complain about us signing Granit. We need a minimum two good players in every position as this is the Arsenal and we love the old knocks.

    Should we say decide to punt on the future and should Wenger think he can afford the risk to convert Draxler into a CF role over season, we may have further cover in the wide areas too.

    At present, we have

    CF – Giroud Walcott
    RW – Alexis Ox
    LW – Iwobi Campbell (Gnabry)
    AM – Ozil Ramsey
    CM – Santi Jack
    DM – Granit Coquelin
    UM – Elneny (Zelalem/Jeff)
    RB – Bellerin Chambers
    LB – Monreal Gibbs
    CB – Per ()
    CB – Koscielny Gabriel
    GK – Cech Ospina (Szsc or Martinez)

    That’s a very balanced squad bar a gap at CF because Walcott has been erratic and Welbeck injured long term and a gap at Cback as both stalwarts are older and Gabriel yet to fully convince despite ‘pace’.

  23. Buffalo says:

    i prefer the transfer window than a potential situation where the cash rich clubs could buy players from their less well off rivals at anytime during the season and therefore influence the league and other results even further.

  24. C says:

    I see Ranieri has done it again with Kante this time. Saying there is a contract in place and its in Kante’s hand.

  25. santori says:

    Just in case there are strange notions that Chambers played at Cback for Soton.:D

    He is a Rback and iMO should revert to role to regain confidence in a familiar position. Wenger made the mistake of depending on him converting into a new role far too early at cost to us two seasons ago.

    And for those who complain about a ‘lack of of pace’ as if we need a sprint team, I give you Nacho Monreal.

    With regards Cback, I feel we need a player more brought up in the role.

    Some rumours that we may be tracking Costas Manolas at Roma . He’s 25yrs and measures 6’1.

    Also Juventus with Daniele Rugani. He’s younger at 21yrs and measures 6’3 which in a sense is better for eventual succession to the BFG.

    Of course all will be dependent on price point which is why bringing in the CF at as least an exorbitant price is important.

    Currently Higuain is way over priced. It makes no sense except in the midns of certain press folk for us to swap our most consistent CF + 40m for him and if he gets knocked early in season we are left with the less than consistent Walcott.

    Also PSG have sold Zlatan and we do not know if they may come back in the market for Higuain.

    Nor do we know if the equally over inflated Morata would be retained should Cronaldo’s injury prove more serious. He is priced to recoup a profit over the buy back price.

    Other prices are similarly affected not just by plenty of potential suitors but a lack of supply for the top end creative type strikers. The second tier strikers are also getting squeezed with not just the PL lesser teams able to bring money to bear but China buying Hulk for 47m and then Pelle for 12m. this puts pressure on supply lines.

    So we will have to bide a bit of time and await the kinks in the armour to manifest. Price should shed as we near end of window with some teams committing and putting themselves out of the picture.

    Its a risky game which is why Wenger made a quick early punt on Vardy. But it was priced against what he felt would/may be available later so if say Vardy’s price had to creep up into the 30m mark for a 29yr old (with less technical ability but good effect emmbeded in the PL already), then Wenger has to consider say if a Draxler with more long term prospect may be affordable at say 40m mark.

    It’s tricky stuff and not for the faint of heart. Certainly it isn’t anywhere as easy as simply naming a price. Move too early and you may trigger the rest of the pack and we know there are at least 7 teams able to afford more than us, some of whom may be in similar market.

    Then there is the intangible issue whether the player is attracted to Arsenal or /and if the agent has an axe to grind with another team (perhaps he is building relations for another sale)

    The reason why Wenger took Granit quickly was because that player decided that Arsenal was for him (Largely bc of Wenger’s development reputation). other players may not share similar sentiment for our club.

    So a bit of patience is necessary rather than all this constant bleating of failure.

    This is typical market scenario. We are not price setters because we do not traditionally pay the over inflated prices that City does. Should the players we pay turn out to be duds, as a self financed team, we will take a big hit. A look at City and their defensive duo of Otamendi and Mangala 55m spent should prove precautionary (They also added De Bruyne for 55m and Sterling for 40m that season). That’s a 150m outlay.

    Now with Mangala proven to be a bit of a dud, that is a massive potential loss which they cover for (well as rumour may have it) spending 53m potentially on an over inflated Stones (as I recall Toffee’s defense last season was pretty rubbish)

    Wenger has had his fair share of duds but he has generally spent low which minimises the damage to our bottom line.

    Where he has in recent seasons spent higher in Alexis, Ozil, Granit, he has been spot on. And lest we forget he brought bothnSanti and Cech in for comparatively little, both players who would have easily been coveted by some of other competitors of ours.

    I’m not sure therefore why there is always this constant bleating of failure.

    Certainly in market, Wenger is one of the most savvy operators. Where he may ‘fail is when he fails to reinforce in sufficient numbers like the season he was enamoured by Chamber’s pre-season performances and we were stuck with BFG deprived of an experience partner when Koscielny got injured. There was no mythical world cup hangover simply inexperienced players which led to positioning uncertainty and most of the goals leaked in (understandably) from crosses, set pieces and corners.

    But when it comes to buying quality at a good price, Wenger is amongst the very best.

  26. santori says:

    Well, Ranieri has an added carrot for Kante in that he will be playing CL with Leicester not Chelsea.;)

  27. santori says:

    And that Kante price is being pushed further by the Chinese league. Apparently they may have been prepared to pay 26m price tag which pushed Chelsea into action at 29m plus hefty pay deal.

    It will be great if Leicester can retain their core. The adventure will(could) continue for the happy band in Europe next season.

  28. HenryB says:


    That was very nuanced. Are you suggesting that the shambles of the transfer market will lead to Arsenal fans resorting to defenestration?

    A little excessive, perhaps? 🙂

  29. santori says:

    With strikers, all options are on the table.

    Lacazette I do not think is the best option for us. But it may come to that so we are watching and at 42m it has to weigh against how far prices may come down on some other players like Higuain (if PSG are not interested), Morata (should Real sell) maybe Draxler (Where there also is risk in converting him centrally)

    It is also useful to be ‘involved’ in other strikers as ‘targets’ since it affords us a foil for bargaining purpose.

    The press of course simply reports everything at face value with little thought or analysis.

    It’s a fluid position right now and as mentioned we are watching closely how other teams are leaning.

    But we have to also be mindful that if we wait too long for the big names, the second tier players may become unavailable with China also inflating those prices along with other PL clubs in the hunt.

  30. santori says:

    Henry was hardly finished product when he came to us.

    He had shown potential at Monaco but was hardly a top striker even then. He faltered at Juventus and his stock was going down when Wenger brought him in.

    Again sketchy memory if you think he was a big striker already.

    Wenger converted him into a CF from the wing and the rest is history.

  31. Buffalo says:

    for next level read ocean going.

  32. santori says:

    Wenger has had great success converting players into new positions (Chambers aside)

    TH14, RVP, Santi, Arteta, Kolo Toure.

    But converting Draxler into a CF position may also carry risk. We will need to have Giroud available if so as the other (aspirant) CF Walcott flatters to deceive for most parts so far.

    In that sense Morata and Higuain (if the price comes down CONSIDERABLY) are safer bets.

    But the potential for Draxler if he converts successfully to the central berth is exciting because he reminds me so much of RVP in movement thought process.

    I think the time is ripe now with another season or two having gone under his belt where it may have been a bit premature earlier.

    Again, it all depends on pricing, German fluency on part of Wenger etc etc.

    It certainly could be an option.

  33. santori says:

    I would not be too concern with lack of options up front at start of season. Giroud can always be called in early.

    Its not exactly like he is crocked.

    Again much ado about nothing. Too much crisis mongering.

  34. C says:

    Why not be concerned about the striker options? If we are basing it off of recent history, Giroud doesn’t come back hitting top form and came back actually out of shape.

  35. santori says:

    To watch pre-season the competition between Chambers and Jenkinson.

    The latter has had more experience with West Ham where the former has stagnated in development but still remains the more technical and creative option.

    If we can sort out the Rback cover for Bellerin with either man, then the addition at the back is limited to possibly one Cback which IMO is more pressing.

  36. C says:

    Henry was hardly the finished product yes, but he was also highly touted given he had already been named French Young Footballer of the YEar in 96, scored 7 goals in the CL in helping Monaco to the semi’s in 96/97, was apart of the French World Cup winning side in 98. Then he made a 10.5m move to Juve which if you consider it was 1999, that is a substantial amount.

    Hardly the finished product but certainly a known talent.

  37. santori says:

    Because we do not live in the past.

    Giroud can be recalled early and it doesn’t necessarily mean he will be off form.

    Maybe if you like to be concern OK, but there is no crisis. That’s a bit hysterical to say the least, something only the press tend to indulge in an Arsenal (some segments) fans tend to lap up.

    Everything is a crisis for them. Arsenal repelling Juventus on Alexis is a crisis. Some made up nonsense about how much we were willing to let go for when in reality the club simply told Juventus sorry not interested …which was never in doubt.

    This manufacturing of crisis is becoming a bit of a habit for some.;)

  38. santori says:

    He should revert to Rback as with Sotn.

    Playing him at Cback is a possibility long term but a massive risk.

    I prefer a proper Cback come in because again a knock to either BFG or Koscielnhy would mean an uncertain pairing with Gabriel / or Chambers.

    Doesn’t necessarily mean either Chambers or Gabriel won’t improve as Cback but if we want to have a secure challenge, I would not risk it.

    I think Wenger will assess Chambers at Rback and Cback as well as Jenkinson at Rback before making a final decision. Hopefully he does not risk it IMO.

  39. santori says:

    potential talent gone astray at juventus. We’ve seen alot of highly thought of players go no where with wrong moves. At the point of time when he came to us, there was a big question mark made even bigger by Wenger converting him into the middle.

  40. santori says:

    Ozil is concern about nothing. Its not his nature.


  41. santori says:

    Rather than concern ourselves with transfer gossip, would be interesting to do a piece on some of the up coming hopefuls. Wenger always surprises us.

    This pre-season, nothing is inked in stone. Calum and Jenkinson have a chance to compete or maybe Chambers will finally show more nous at Cback

    but there is also Gnabry potentially working back in.

    Jeff and Zelalem are options for a slot in midfield for small opportunity exposure this season next to Elneny maybe.

    Also Akpom always looks hungry but where does he go should we sign the striker?

    Will the Willock get more show?

    Wenger has been successful bringing through Bellerin and Iwobi in recent seasons where many were bleating on about market additions as the only solution. None predicted these two will succeed so quickly.

    Also no one gave Coquelin or Campbell a chance but Wenger. The call as I remembered was ‘Get out while you can’ and something derisive about Dick Law of the jungle.

    then there is the keeper ‘situation’. I suppose some will manufacture a crisis of humongous negative ocean going iceberg size proportions:)….Szsc or Ospina?

    I suggest we keep a watchful eye in coming pre-season to assess some of these younger/fringe players. It will be interesting indeed, certainly/hopefully more positive than all the constant bleating ad tedium about imaginary crisis.:D

  42. C says:

    Im not saying or never have been we are in crisis mode but after 4 years its clear we need more goal scorers and if we are going to buy then lets by better than what we have especially since Giroud is set to be 30.

  43. C says:

    Why convert him into a RB when we already have Jenks who should develop but we have no CB’s close to first team? Also, you must remember Southampton Managers who worked with him said his future lies centrally not to mention it was what Arsene has said since day one: capable of playing RB but will end up centrally.

    I find it interesting in one post you say Arsene does well converting players and then in the next one say he is wrong about Chambers.

    Whats the benefit of Chambers playing RB right now? At present we have an extremely young and talented RB in Bellerin who has established himself that Chambers won’t beat out.

  44. Bill says:

    RVP and Henrry where 4-5 lifetimes ago in term of football years. A lot has changed since then. In the early Wenger era we had a scouting advantage over the rest of the world which long ago equalized. In reality it was probably more about good timing and happenstance with Henry and RVP. If Arsene was still good at building his own goal scorers then I assume he would have used that skill sometime during this decade. The law of averages almost always wins out and Arsene used up his quota of good luck. 100% of the scorers we have brought into the club from outside in this decade have seen their scoring totals go down in various degrees and none of the younger players we thought might be able to score including the uber talented Ox has worked failed to live up to their potential.

  45. C says:

    Agree he stalled at Juve but a large part of that was his lack of defensive work as a winger. The point on Henry though was that he was already a well known and accomplished young player prior to his move to Arsenal. I am taking nothing from Arsene for finishing the player but in no way was he a Kos.

  46. Bill says:


    Counting on players like Akpom, Iwobe, Jeff, Gnabry, Zalelem etc is fools gold. Arsene’s record with younger players is quite poor if you are honest. He has had success with scorers. Not even one have come close to living up to their potential in the Emirates era. Wilshere had a chance to be special creative type but his injury issues have derailed that. A couple years ago we thought Gibbs and Wojo looked like the real deal. 2 years ago Le Coq was reputed to be the find of the decade and the best DM in the league and now he is 2nd or 3rd choice. Ox has always been on the cusp of greatness. Right now the only player from more then a decade who looks like he has a good chance to be a impact player with any longevity is Bellerin.

  47. Bill says:

    The 3rd sentence was supposed to say, Arsene has had no success in the Emirates era with younger players who we hoped would be scorers.

    I think you know what I meant.

  48. Bill says:

    Arsene’s reputation for player development was well deserved in the early years up to Cesc but my theory is that was more about good scouting and good timing rather then an unusual ability to develop players. The record in this decade counterbalances what happened in the early years.

  49. Michael says:

    If i might point out about China entering into transfers. I think you might find that they have a cap on the amount of foreign players in any team, given that they want to improve the quality of their own players.

  50. Bill says:

    Almost none of the big teams have developed players in this decade. Player development and winning big trophies are competing goals to some extent and all of the big teams buy their players now.

    I don’t think Arsene is bad at player development but I don’t think he has any special ability. He struggles with the same problem that every big team manager has. In this era when there is so much money and everyone can buy players and scouting has equalized it’s become much much harder for big teams to have be able to successfully develop young players who become impact players and almost impossible to find young differnce making players with any longevity.

  51. Bill says:

    Replace the word “find” with “develop from scratch” You know what I meant.

  52. C says:

    Valencia have apparentlt registered interest in Campbell with the intentions of signing him. It would be a shame to see him go as I think he has been criminally underused and underappreciated by Arsene.

  53. Colts says:

    Right backs don’t look like chambers anymore do they, though in fairness he plays there quite well, going forwards (yes that goal was world class). Ideally he should be tryin to partner Gabriel, either way with the dm spot reinforced who ever is in defence should not be exposed as much as the season gone. Potentially meaning rotation/game experience won’t be so risky.

    I’d rather us get a decent back up at right back than in the center for the reason stated above but also because I don’t believe Carl is good enough. Bellz is still young meaning his form is susceptible to fluctuation, not to mention injury. Sidney would have been perfect, hopefully Jenkins can prove me wrong so we can put that dough towards a forward.

    Chris will, gangster, but still to much of a kid I feel.
    Gideon, Not as gangster but still a bit lightweight with to much ahead of him, see: Toral.
    Jeff, could potentially be this year’s iwobe as he has the frame and versatility, more languid than the wizard though.
    Chuba, has to become a mafia Don this pre season unless we get a plethora of injuries. Still, he can wing it, so at least he has a shot at three positions.

    The player I’m curious about is Campbell, he’s gotten better at a steady rate and has it all. I think with more confidence from Wenger I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a leap and nails one of the flanks.

  54. Bill says:


    He is a decent player who works hard and adds something to the back end of the squad so I hope we keep him. The question about him is the same one you have to ask of any one of the players we could use on the right wing, where is the end product? So far even when he was given a chance it was not there. We can’t just throw him out there every game for half a season just to see what happens and hope that he can surprise us.

  55. Colts says:


    I’ll be livid if we sell him to anyone.

    I believe Theo will have a up year too.

  56. Bill says:


    I don’t see any reason to sell Campbell. He won’t bring a big transfer fee and he is a good player to have at the back end of the squad around player 21-22. It would be nice if he could have made more of an impact in the cup games we have used him in but he didn’t hurt the first team last season when we needed him to play wide right for 8-10 games.

  57. C says:


    He actually did produce when played both goals and assists. If you want what 10 goals from your winger, well he had 3 in a short period of time before being dropped for Ox and then Theo.

  58. Colts says:


    I rate him higher than at the back end of the squad, for his first season at a big club at his age. With Wenger also not adding to his confidence by side lining him for the most part . He not only showed he could be a squad player, which is the most the majority at the time hoped he would be. He aced it for me placing himself ahead of everyone bar Alexis on the flanks. In fact, with his skill set I’d rather he play striker instead of Theo.

  59. ArseneWenger says:

    Surely Wenger has plans for Campbell. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.

  60. dukey says:

    what the fuck is going on in France. something needs to be done now seriously to stop these acts of barbaric evil. innocent people/families enjoying a night out. we are living in a sick world now. mankind reached the top of the mountain at the millennium and the end of the 20th century…..all down hill from now on..

  61. Colts says:

    The world has been sick for some time now, the will already written.

  62. captain senderos says:

    rumours abound that juventus have reach agreement with higuain

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