The Calm Before The Storm

Warning: this post may be a made up. It could be real, who knows? Too much about Arsenal is surreal at the moment.

Hey Ivan,

Hey, just checking in. Hear things are still rough your side of the pond? Well, you know what they say about pond life!

Had an idea how to keep them quiet. Let’s move the club to the beach! Everyone loves the beach! I love the beach; Junior loves the beach as well, I bet you do too. Great, get it done.

I made a killing when I moved the St Louis Sheep back to LA. Billion dollar loans at one and one quarter percent! They say the anything from Missouri has a taint about it. Well, you know them Sheep? T’aint in Missouri no more! Oh man!

We can rename the team while we’re at it. No more London Arsenal Gunners; it’s too long, too dull. We gotta get something more snappy, with a bit more pizzazz; something more memorable.  I know you guys have been around since 1992 but we still need to make more appealing – think of the Rays, the Buccaneers. Nothing dull like the Chiefs or Royals. Or the Rapids. Man, you soccer guys are a pain. Got some of those Colorado guys bawling me out for not investing in the team. Do they think I’m some kind of lunatic? No profit in that, my friend. You know what they say; where there’s profit, there’s a Kroenke.

Spoke with Mr Wenger last night. He said I should check before calling him next time, and he’s going to speak to you about it. Man, he was pissed; just a heads up for you. Can you ask your PA to sort out a time for me to speak with him again? Think he was running Bouldy through the thresher for shouting at Aaron. Says the only one he’s allowed to ball out is the little South American – Alex, is it?

Hey, what’s this about him wanting $300 large each week? That some kind of joke? Man, you guys need to look at them London Spurs; top earner on $110k each week? Get us in line with that; we can add another $10m to the bottom line and shave an eighth of one percent off my bank rate. Look after the little things, Ivan; remember that.

Anyhoo, has Mr Wenger told us how he wants the club re-organized yet? I know he don’t want a soccer director but I like what I’m hearing about Bobby Peerez. Thinks we ought to give Mr W another three years – like the idea. Let’s talk about getting him on board and on message! Make it happen.

Hey, how’s my balance sheet looking? Remember the red lines, my friend. Keep it real. Trophies are for schmucks; the real prize is in the bank – keep the c-notes piling up. Thanks for the heads up about season ticket renewals; glad you’re confident. Saw the Leicester Foxes game – stadium is looking good but a few of the seats need cleaning properly. Remember, give the fans a first class stadium and they will come, no matter what. And don’t you worry about no season ticket holders who turn up; they’re just dead presidents.

Gotta rush. Some of the Texan tenant farmers are getting uppity. One of them knocked my toop off a way back when. Been making ’em pay ever since.


There’s a new playlist at Dad’s Jukebox: gone back to the year 2000.

’til Tomorrow.

79 thoughts on “The Calm Before The Storm

  1. Yogi, that’s a conversation that could happen at any time.

    Move the club to the beach? What a brilliant idea, and rename it? Wonderful.

    How about Bexhill-on-Sea? For that touch of required pizzaz…The Bexhill-on-Sea Great White Sharks. Has a ring to it, don’t you think.

  2. Where are Brynner, McQueen, Buchholz, Bronson, Vaughn, Coburn, and Dexter when you need them? (dead obviously but that’s not the point). The greatest achievement of the likes of Stan and his billionaire cronies is to create (or sell to the masses) a society where they can act with impunity in the knowledge that when you have enough money there are no consequences. Makes me yearn for the days of pitchforks and burning torches when people got too uppity (sure things like plague and rickets were a bit of a down side but they afflicted the wealthy too). Hope the bastard gets ‘tache rot.

  3. And Bingo! Following Arsene’s latest ‘I almost signed’ nonsense (Mbappe if you missed it) F365 are re-running their Arsene Wenger ‘I almost signed XI’. NB Mbappe doesn’t make the team btw.

    He never learns.

  4. andy1886,

    Why does he continuously say these things he must know it’s infuriating to the supporters.
    We have marginally missed out on higuan, Suarez but manage to get Giroud, Chamakh, Sanogo. I just wish he would just concentrate on the players we have and are going to acquire and forget about the ones that slipped through the net.
    As far as I’m concerned the Mbbape ship has sailed.

  5. “Prince Phillip is retiring!”
    “It’s a bad case of mistaken identity”
    “Mistaken identity?”
    “You’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a shit.”

  6. Andy
    The best way to make the rug wearing walrus bog off back to the States is for the season ticket holders to vote with their feet and not renew. Either that or get Jason Statham or Mark Strong to have a word.
    This whole set up works great for Stan because we generate great cash flow and our debt is falling. Who wouldn’t be happy from a balance sheet standpoint?
    Am I the only one who sees us being relegated or at least flirting with relegation next season if we keep the same set up. My assumption is that the better players leave and we are left with negative selection.

  7. “Lucas Perez is back in the training as well but he’ll miss the next two days, he got a little problem in training yesterday,” Wenger said.

    This is getting weird.

  8. That’s a cracker Yogi!

    A bit too close to the truth.

    Relegation? If so it wouldn’t be a 1st for Wenger

  9. The sad thing is, that sort of conversation could have possibly happened and its a shame, the focus is on the manager and the finances and not the actual futbol.

  10. Otto

    You are the only one who sees that because it won’t happen. We might start badly and pick up but we will finish mid-table at worst. And some season ticket holders may not renew but their seats will be taken by others so most renew, even if they go less. Arsenal win in that instant because they have the money already.

    In any case, not having Champions League football doesn’t stop good players joining. Comments attributed to Lacazette, for example, mean nothing when he’s offered £140k per week.

  11. C,

    I suspect that Perez (who has played football in some pretty tough places) didn’t worship at the shrine of Arsene. Maybe he even hinted that Arsene was full of shit.

  12. Freddo,

    Yup, plus you know he is a player that actually would press with Sanchez and show some fight; you know we can’t have to many fighters in the starting XI, probably why Elneny doesn’t play either.

  13. C,

    That’s believable.

    I’ve noted before there was a negative take from inside the club when fans started speaking up about Perez some months ago…a petty vendetta.

    Here’s another odd fact. I happened to stumble across a small piece by James from Arseblog written last year questioning what was happening with Campbell prior to the summer.

    He pointed out Campbell had been energetic and contributed over expectations yet was dropped to the bench repeatedly. He noted something which had slipped past me – so I double checked a couple of things.

    Back to ‘that’ moment…

    The fans had been irate about giving more opportunity to Campbell, when Wenger played him against Swansea. Campbell gave us the lead. In spite of playing well, Wenger subbed him off first to a chorus of boos. I am sure Wenger did it on purpose yet he didn’t expect the disproval.

    Campbell then played ten days later in the FA Cup and had a good ‘lively’ game (almost scoring first half), but we lost 2-1 and blew the three-peat. Well, I guess that confirmed Campbell’s status as Wenger’s whipping boy – he never started a game again.

    So …Perez has scored 8 goals in 21 appearances for the two clubs this season, including a hat-trick in the CL and a role in four goals in one game the FA Cup but he’s on the pretend injury list.

    Alrighty then.

    Perhaps someone could do some sleuthing on Mr Invisible Elneny.

  14. By the by, here are some observations about the current status of things Arsenal…

    I believe we were already heading for a serious internal crisis last season only averted due to Spurs imploding and we ended second in the PL.

    Odd comments are surfacing again. I realize this is all ‘third party’ but honestly think no-one is working an agenda here.

    We yet buy into the myth of Wenger ‘being there’ first thing in the morning day in and out. If this was the case it begs the question what the hell is being coached? Is this even what is going on anymore?

    In a recent podcast Ian Wright possibly shed some light on current happenings…

    “The rumor is Xhaka is telling people he is not getting coached. He doesn’t know what he is doing, he has just been plonked in….he doesn’t know what he is actually, properly doing.”

    Then on The Guardian’s podcast following the Spurs game, James Richardson asked (re-iterating he was serious)…

    “What does Arsene Wenger do all day?” He doesn’t take coaching and he doesn’t take training …’no’ (other panelist)… I mean, on a really practical level, he comes into work in the morning and what does he spend the rest of the day doing? I know nobody really knows…you get whispers about… I know Raphael Honingstein is big on the fact German players say

    ‘my goodness, this man does nothing, there is no preparation, there is no level of advanced scouting…”

    Then a little later Jonathan Wilson is relating sitting directly behind Wenger in the press box at WHL and he noted two things which stood out…

    “…the players came off after warm up, the Spurs players were bigger, and really obviously noticeably bigger, taller, more muscular…it looked like one of those games you get in the Sunday League or something, where you have a team seventeen year olds and a team of men. And that suggests either Wenger is not buying physically combative enough players to compete or there is something in their conditioning is not getting them to the right level….

    “…and then the other thing was when Gabriel gave away the penalty Wenger turned round and very obviously said to Steve Bould…’he does that every time. Every time”.

    Which begs the question why Gabriel would be isolated in that position again, if you have identified a problem exists?

    My take is basic instruction, coaching and tactics are a shambles.

    Therefore so is morale

  15. DFS-,

    I have to agree with all of that. The Perez thing is probably the most interesting because for all the plaudits that GIroud was getting when he scored goals in 4 or 5 straight matches, it was Perez who was the catalyst and if I’m not mistaken set up Giroud’s easy tap in for one of the FA Cup matches.

    The problem that I see is that playing Perez means playing Sanchez at CF and that means Giroud drops to the bench which we all know isn’t happening. Now I know our friend Bill will bang on about Giroud being more likely to score a goal thus he starts at CF but I’m not calling for Perez to play CF but LW where not only does he work his ass off for the team but would give us a winger that doesn’t just create but can score goals.

    I do agree though with you about Arsene and how he does with certain players.

    Please don’t even get me started on Elneny, the funny thing with Elneny is that people will point to one match this season where he didn’t play well as the stick with which to say, “see told you he isn’t that good”, but those same people will continue to tell me / us that Ramsey and Ox should start forgetting how many matches Ramsey and Ox have played and how poor we have been with them.

  16. DFS-,

    I think the whole coaching thing is obvious, I mean look at the way certain players still play right now. How many times we do talk about Ox’s control letting him down when he plays centrally? Why is Le Coq the midfielder that is pushing forward when you have Ox, Elneny, Ramsey, hell even Iwobi that can play there?

    The whole more muscular thing for me is a bit overdone (see GIroud…) but I do think that the style of play that we have for the players that we have makes no sense at all. We have quick players and enough quick thinking players to play quickly yet Arsene wants to play slowly.

  17. C,

    I largely agree regarding smaller quicker players (ie not deployed as such) – but Wilson’s comments were interesting to me because its something I’d noticed.

    Those Spurs lads are big units but still really pacey and athletic.

  18. C,

    Agree on Perez – its confounding.

    If Perez had weak performances it would be one thing – but he hasn’t.

    And, here’s another thing. the impression I get is if that post/tweet of Perez gets back to Arsenal HQ (which it likely will) that will be another black mark against him, things are that petty.

    What is your take, do you think he’ll be here next season? I can’t see it.

  19. DFS-,

    The Spuds are big units but I also think they play tougher than are players. I mean we have Giorud and for all the talk about how big he is, I think my 4 year daughter is tougher than he is. You look at Alderwield and Kos who are of similar builds, and for as good as Kos is, we all know how quickly things go to shit for him when things get physical, can’t say the same about Alderweild (a player I banged on about for 2 years when he was at Athletico and wasn’t really playing).

    I mean, I could bring it back to the two players we were discussing in Perez and Elneny; neither are big nor muscular but are strong and have that fight and desire to were your not just going to brush them aside and if you do they are straight back in it to win the ball back.

  20. YW,

    I would agree that no CL does not prevent players coming over if their terms are met. Do you really have confidence that we have the ability to get the players we need even if we could meet their terms. Look at the Mustafi fiasco. And i think he is a RB not a CB btw as he is too short.
    In addition top players want to play with other top players or at least know they are going to realistically challenge for real trophies cast in metal of some sort.
    I agree that if some give up their tickets others may step into their shoes, but see a top half finish as a best case scenario. Our recent form is relegation form and the manager is out of ideas. If we bottle it when we are at the summit and have neither the professional pride or ability to shake ourselves out of a funk, how can it end anything other than badly
    We’ll have to agree to disagree there which is what this is all about.
    Great blog. COYG

  21. DFS-,

    I agree, its not his performances, it must be something else and if that tweet does get back to Arsenal, Arsene; we might not see him the rest of the season.

    I can’t see him being here next season unless we get another manager in.

  22. Great post yogi. Top stuff again. It’s truly squeaky bum time with regard to our fight for the top 4. All 5 games are must win. I really hope that the reason arsene has not announced what he plans to do next year is because he has decided to do the honorable thing and retire if we don’t climb back into 4th place. Unfortunately I don’t believe that and I suspect he is holding out for more money or another year.

  23. Very true dfs.

    If only our players showed as much grit, willpower and determination as Yogi we wouldn’t be in such a mess.

  24. Freddo

    I understand the urge to grasp for straws when our team is struggling but go to wickipedia and look at what Perez has done in his career. He is in his late 20’s and had one decent season with a team that was near the bottom of the table in La Liga. He has mostly bounced around between Spain and Russia and he wasn’t even all that good in Russia. He is the definition of a journeyman player and yet somehow he has morphed into a player who could be a difference making player with Arsenal. I have to admit I just don’t get it.

  25. A possible starting

    _______Sanchez Perez
    ______Elneny Coquelin
    ___Holding Mustafi Kos

  26. I see Gary Neville is waxing lyrical about Arsenal being favorites against Manu (managed by Mourinho, no less).

    Has anyone checked his meds recently?

  27. DFS-,

    Hits the nail on the head for me. We can’t be the only ones to wonder WTF it is that Wenger actually does all day. We know he likes to watch as much football as possible, maybe that’s it. Not a bad job for £10m a year

    Another question that bugs me – Wenger is supposed to be a great manager, so what are his key attributes that make him great?

    In Game Management?
    Player Identification and Recruitment?
    Training innovation?

    I’d say there is no evidence to support any of the above. Sure he introduced continental (not revolutionary outside the UK) dietary and training methods when he arrived but he’s long been overtaken on that front. So just what is Arsene Wenger good at? Can anyone actually tell me?

  28. Otto von B.,

    Can’t see us being in any real trouble, Wenger relies on the fact that however bad we are there are usually one or two of our peers that are worse (which is how he managed to get top four for so long up until now). Teams like Everton, Southampton, and West Ham tend to be inconsistent, they have good seasons and bad seasons. And usually one the big teams has a poor one too – this year it’s us. So I’d expect us to be in and around positions 5 to 8, probably 5th or 6th and basically similar to where we are now. Even without our stars we have too many potentially very good players that can raise their game now and again and keep us chugging along at about that level.

    Of course that’s not where a club of our quality should be but Wenger will sell it as a period of rebuilding and point to the fact that United, Liverpool and Chelsea have had seasons outside the CL places too. And keep droning on about ‘loyalty’ which is easy to do when you’re on a fortune with only minimal pressure to succeed.

  29. phe,

    I’m a little confused who is Campbell and why is he playing right wing back I hope you don’t mean the same Joel Campbell on loan. Monreal and Ox should play at wing back in recent game we have looms almost decent when they played there.
    Also unless Ozil is injured no way Wenger drops him irrespective of form.
    I would like to see :-

    Welbeck, Sanchez, Ozil
    Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Ox
    Holding, Kos, Gabriel

  30. Phe

    That line up might work if Sanchez could score about 60 league goals per season.


    None of the things that made Arsene a special manager in the first half of his reign still apply today. It looks like he has even lost the ability to motivate the players when the top 4 is at risk which was the last vestige of managerial strength that he had left. Even the best managers move past their best at some point and in our case that happened around the turn of this decade.

  31. Silver @ 4:02

    That line up might work for a few games but over the course of a season there are not enough goals in those players unless we somehow morph into the best defensive team in the league. The latter would be nice but not a very realistic expectation.

  32. Bill,

    It certainly looks that way, it’s baffling that anyone would pay a mega salary to an employee that has no obvious attributes consummate with his role. Unless his role is purely to maximise revenues in which case a) we don’t actually have a manager of the football team and b) he’s just failed on the financial front too.

  33. lol
    In reply to andy1886
    In fact he is good at two things: he is a damn liar and he makes money for Stan.
    And that is enough for fools to chant : There’s only one Wenger.
    Sure there is only one who lies so much, who is such a specialist in failure, who sets players out of position, who recurrently renew the contracts of unproductive/injured players with a large pay rise, who gets trashed 6-0 on his nth match day celebration and can still look at himself in a mirror
    , who suffers a 10-1 loss to Bayern, who gets a 8-2 to Manu, who still believe he can make top four, who thinks on some days that his team has got character and on other days are not ready mentally, etc, etc.
    There’s only one Wenger for sure, a guy without shame and dignity and a wholly shit.

  34. Andy
    I am sorry to say I am much less sanguine than you about our chances. Our players are (with the odd exception) lazy, clueless and coddled. They have no professional pride. I recall Adams saying that even if rey won a game 5or6 to 1 the defensive unit was hacked off about conceding! Nothing like that with this lot. The good players will be snapped up and the others are plain average. We are too small in stature and have no big game mentality: we will sink like a stone. I wish it weren’t so.

  35. Silver

    If you are just looking for a line up to hopefully collect as many points for the rest of this season and you don’t want to use Giroud or Walcott then we should use Perez as the left forward and drop Ozil. Lee Dixon who has always been very reasonable and an Arsenal backer was doing the TV commentary during the Spurs game and he was making the point that Ozil defensive indifference makes him a real liability to the team if he is not doing “special things that win games”. Spurs targeted our left and Ox was caught 1 vs 2 time and again and part of the reason he not could influence the game on the attacking side the way he did against Man City was because he had so much defending to do.

    I agree that Arsene probably will not drop Mesut but I think its time. Not many “special things” have been happening for quite a long time now.

  36. Bill,

    Dropping Ozil for a game would be the smart thing to do and if Wenger had any balls he would have done it already by now.
    I agree about ozils defensive deficiencies and I think that’s why he didn’t play centrally at madrid. Can only really play as a number 10 in a 442 or 4231 and even then midfielders need to be disciplines box to box types that can do his work load.

  37. silvergunner,

    We both know Perez isn’t sniffing the starting 11 again. He must have said something that undermined Wenger authority and has since been ousted.

  38. If we are being completely honest, in a 343, you don’t want nor should you require your front 3 to track back, in reality a 343 is a type of formation that guarantees that you have 7 defensive players and frees the front 3 to attack and not have to worry about tracking back. Its actually why the vast majority of wingbacks are either A. FB’s or B. hard working squad players like Moses or Asamoah. For all those that wanted the 343 like Chelsea’s; Hazard, Pedro and Costa have NO tracking back duties and its something that has freed them and allowed Hazard to get back to the Hazard that was one of the best in the PL. Since my mate Bill made mention of Dixon; while I was watching the Manure v Chelsea match, that very same Dixon said that part of the reason why Hazard has looked a different player is because Conte clearly doesn’t want him tracking back and in the 343 system that they play he isn’t required to at all.

    The problem with having Ox and Ozil on the same side is that Ox isn’t that good defensively nor is he disciplined enough. To be honest, Nacho and Bellerin should be starting as our wingbacks, they are both naturally suited to either being modern FB’s who are good both attacking and defending or modern wingbacks for the exact same reasons. Yes Conte uses Moses, but Moses is a hard working player that clearly has his role defined. Also he doesn’t get forward all the time, often times staying back behind Pedro on the RW.

  39. I suspect that if AW does go that a new coach will come in and be staggered as to how unfit our squad is. There is no clear evidence of this but I think it may have something to do with a lot of the slow starts that we have and the “handbrake on ” performances. It would fit with the general lack of preparation rumours that are circulating now.

  40. Never mind the Bollocks, here’s Wenger, so the march April deadlines of his position have passed, shock horror there then,
    Is anyone in charge at this club? if so just get on with it and admit you have given a 2 year contract, we can then get on with our pessimistic lives

  41. C

    The problem is that ozil stopped defending long ago and it hasn’t helped him to return to being productive. The reason we looked so good against Man City is because Ox was so dynamic bombing up the right wing. Perhaps we should drop Ozil and put ox upfront so he can be freelance and create some havoc and use Bellerin as the wingback.

  42. expect Ozil to be pushed wide to make room for Aaron Ramsey in CM, then crucified for not being at the centre of everything (cue theatrical sigh). I can’t see Wenger breaking his duck against Mourinho either, although the latter says he might play a weakened side, depending on how it goes in Vigo tonight. (Vamos Celta! )
    Can’t see Perez ever playing again. Wenger probably didn’t approve his signing. He’s a class above Campbell and has done well whenever he’s played but has clearly pissed off the great dictator. Hope he finds a decent club in the summer.

    Was laughing last night watching Juve. If Allegri took over our lot, their heads would explode.

  43. 6. It’s the number of tackles Özil made in Munich. More than Xhaka + Coquelin. Just an example. But if one doesn’t want to see, then he doesn’t see.
    I think that even Wenger’s battles with his coat are because of Özil.

  44. The problem with using Ox, Iwobe, Ramsey or even Ozil as a forward is they don’t score enough. The 3 forwards are going to have to score the significant majority of the goals and if one of those 3 does not score then it’s puts all of the pressure on the other 2 forwards. If we are going to play any forward who does not score then he needs to do something else that is very influential. If it’s Ozil he should be leading the known world in assists. If he is not doing that then he is taking up a spot that we could use for someone who is more of a threat to score. If it’s Ox as the right forward he has to be consistently creating dangerous situations by moving the ball forward at pace the way he did against Man City.

  45. MikeSA,

    Gary Neville’s comments are really getting increasingly odd.

    When he first became a pundit I thought him one of the best.

    Now much of his ‘opinion’ appears to be an attempt to rewite his own brief engagement as a manager at Valencia – all managers are wronged….Ranieri, Wenger…himself? He has promoted a ban to sack managers mid-season.

    Valencia was a fraught situation, he had personal/business ties and should have known better. It was a self inflicted wound and now it colors his whole perspective.

  46. Dukey,

    Yes, I can’t find the time or inclination everyday but I really appreciate and marvel that YW provides the space to vent!

  47. Hello everypeeps.
    I’m in a bar. The gibbon has landed.
    Montreal eh?
    Why I had to go straight from France to somewhere practically French, I have no fucking idea.
    Still, I have a pint of cider and – in spite of Paris best efforts to make me miss my flight and/or kill me in a car crash – I am unbloodied and unbowed.
    Good post Yogi-san – how you keep the juices flowing, I will never know.

  48. Bill,

    Bill – There are lots of players our there who are great but have fallen between the cracks. I am constantly amazed, as I travel through life, at how many brilliant people I meet who never get anywhere. They end up sitting behind reception desks when they should be in the CEO’s office. A football player only has to have to have a few bad coaches / be in a few bad teams and his career disappears down a plug hole. With Perez, I see a player with good acceleration, good creativity and a magical left foot. Theo, on the other hand, is just a finisher.

  49. Freddo

    I am sure there is an exception somewhere in the history of world football but players in their late 20’s don’t go from career long journeymen on teams in Russia and smaller teams in spain to becoming impact players on a big team near the top of the table in England. Besides when was the last time you saw an attacking player improve when he comes to Arsenal.

  50. Bill,

    You know I disagree with just about everybody when it comes to Ozil doing the defensive work, I think more oftwn than not he tracks back but because he doesn’t do it all the time likr most like (name an ACM or wide player that does) people kill him and it doesn’t help that their is a stigma that goes with having a languid style. 11 goals in all competitions isn’t a bad hall given the start of the season thr talk was him getting 10-15 goals in all competitions. I would rather Ox centrally then Ramsey if I’m honest even in the 343 but no way in hell does he start in a front 3.

  51. C

    Trying to argue that Ozil plays reasonable defense must mean that you are wearing a very very strong pair of rose colored glasses. Your best chance is to argue that his playmaking and creativity is enough to make up for the defensive deficiencies and lack of goal scoring. That arguement might have carried some validity in the past but it’s hard to make that case based on what we have seen for the last 16 months and especially in calender 2017

  52. freddo,

    Well said.

    Schneiderlin just endured two seasons of being marginalized by two different managers at Man U – LVG and then Mourinho, before moving back straight into a first team at Everton

    The idea he should therefore be disregarded as a talent because of LVG and Morinho’s peccadillo’s is idiotic.

    But it also exposed how disingenuous the two manager’s had been with the player. Everton tried to secure Schneiderlin with a low ‘out of favor’ bid which Man U would not accept. They had paid 24 m and struck a deal with Everton for an initial 22m with conditions that topped it to 24m.

    So, evidently, he was of value.

    I expect the same with Perez – if we sell him, are we going to offer him for cents on the dollar as he is such a weak player?

    Of course not.

  53. DFS

    I am not saying that Perez is a bad player but the idea that he would be a difference making impact player and we have made a big mistake by not using him more is probably not realistic based on his career history. Just like Joel Campbell, Perez is probably in the proper position being a back end squad player and early cup player at Arsena.

    Comparing Perez to what happened with Schniederlin is not a reasonable comparison. Schneiderlin was a French international and highly rated player at Southampton and he had a very strong resume. Any player risks being marganalized when he moves from a small team like Southampton to one of the richest clubs in the world who can buy players like Pogba. It happens all the time. On the other hand Perez was playing for lower league teams in Spain and unknown teams in Russia and then one of the smaller La Liga teams. No player who is good enough to be an impact player at Arsenal is going to be marginalized by several teams like that over the course of his career.

  54. Bill,

    If you look at Perez’s career he’s made some pretty bad career moves, washing up in Kiev (“a nightmare” funnily enough) and Athens before finding his feet back in Spain. That happens. Most players only have 6 – 8 big years and they can disappear very quickly. But he scored 17 goals (not all as a CF) for a team almost relegated in 2016. How many would Giroud have scored in that situation? I’d be surprised if it was more than 4 or 5 because unless he’s got a quality team around him giving him a smorgasbord of chances, Giroud is useless. Can you imagine him as a lone target man up front with half the paddock between him and the goal?

  55. Sam,

    Sam, I suspect you’re right that Arsene never wanted Perez. One of the weirdest comments this season from Arsene was after Perez scored a couple of goals and he complained that Perez used his left foot “a bit too much for my taste.” It was as if Arsene had never seen the guy before or, more likely, didn’t want him. Maybe the club wasn’t prepared to spend big on Lacazette and forced Arsene to go bargain basement with Perez. Now Arsene is getting even with the club in his passive-aggressive way. He basically can’t let Perez succeed because that will undermine his authority. I wonder if Arsene just wears a mask of normality and, deep down, is totally nuts.

  56. freddo,

    I believe Wenger really dislikes being pushed into a corner to buy a player, it is something he recoils from as well.

    Freddo…you mention Wenger’s strange comment re Perez.

    I related before how, due to injury we bought Elneny in the winter window.

    Several weeks followed of whack reasoning why Wenger would not use him to the press – week in and out it changed (I listed them at one point – weakness, fitness, weight etc.) and his final excuse was a ‘phantom injury’. This was a player who was described as having a phenomenal engine- running the whole 60 minutes.

    Not matter what Elneney does…it’s back to the bench.

    Wenger was forced to buy him so he likely resents that on the front end (and I doubt Wenger scouted either of the two). What I then suspect turns him off a player is a high energy level in training where someone doen’t quite buy into hours of tippy tappy passing routines.

    I think this type of player, the ones who arrive and want to assert themselves and contribute are knocked back.

    And, just in case you never saw me comment on this…several months ago on the Guardians podcast it was related in spite of his productive games, there was a petty ‘unoffical’ smear campagn from the club to run him down to journalists as someone who did not fit in. The journalists did not believe it and passed it on.

    I suppose at that point he was already asking why he had been brought to Arsenal.

  57. freddo,

    ” I wonder if Arsene just wears a mask of normality and, deep down, is totally nuts”.

    I’ve had some genuine reservations about his character for years (and I admit others pointed me to some really strange traits before I really noticed).

    He compulsively acts in a contrarian manner to prove he is a sort of genius, alternative thinker…but the well is empty at this point. So, you are left with dubious choices from game to game.

    We play 3/5 at the back against City and Rob Holding was stellar as part of a great defense. Even noted as out best player in several papers.

    Everyone wanted to see him again. No! Dropped for Leicester, then dropped for Spurs.

    In fact for Spurs Arsene really dicked around…forget Holding, bring in Gibbs and move Monreal around.

    Everyone is so used to it we all half accept it as Arsene being Arsene. In the cold light of day people should be asking WTF?

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