Arsenal & The Magic Money Tree, Mad Jens Returns – Hope or Expectation?

No wonder Theresa May couldn’t find the ‘Magic Money Tree’ during the election campaign; it was being nurtured in Arsène’s garden. Now he’s reaping all the benefits.

I totted up all the offers which the papers, home and abroad, claim we’ve made. It comes to a staggering £383m, give or take a few pennies. I’ll freely admit to being impressed by the size of that money tree. No wonder Alexis is on his way. By my admittedly dodgy sums, we’re still looking for around £200m; not so much a money tree as an orchard.

Alexandre Lacazette is in London apparently, last seen in the company of Lord Lucan disappearing off into the Soho night. His is the next medical, after Yann M’Vila and Sebastien Frey.

With the fee agreed, it’s a case of waiting for things to happen ahead of a formal announcement. And let’s face it, football supporters are not patient at the best of times.

Our American chums celebrate 4th of July, with all the beer, barbeques and sun they can handle. Or Saturdays, as we call them. There will be stars and stripes everywhere. And stars is what the goalkeepers will be seeing when Jens Lehmann arrives at London Colney.

Any move by the club to improve the coaching staff is welcomed. However, a cautionary note is struck when we recall a similar hope for Steve Bould when he assumed Pat Rice’s duties.

Arsène, it seems, is going against the grain in that he doesn’t like contrary opinions being aired, publicly at least. Lehmann – again a public persona – is mad, bad and dangerous. Or just a winner. If he can reignite that in the dressing room, it’s no bad thing.

But this has the makings of a tale which ends in tears.

“Do you sense, as I do, that this conversation is an exercise in futility?”

Except Lehmann holds Wenger in the highest regard and has been supportive of the Frenchman in the media. Previously at the club to complete his badges, this time as a coach, it’s different. It’s the players who may take badly to the German’s forthright personality.

I do wonder if that’s part of the reason he’s been hired; to shake the complacency out of the dressing room but, as I say, Bould was viewed in that light as well. Is this part of the shake-up, the compromise for Peyton being allowed to stay? It certainly seems that way.

Wenger has his goalkeeping situation to resolve. Wojciech Szczesny bade farewell to Roma yesterday on social media with a heartfelt message. Did he do that when he went on loan from Arsenal? I can’t remember and frankly, I’m not bothered either.

Whether he stays is debatable. The early promise is gone but he must have done something right in Rome to be there for two years, making 81 first team appearances. There’s talk of Juventus bids but whether that’s true or just them looking to land a ‘keeper on the cheap isn’t wholly clear.

The question is why he isn’t better thought of at Arsenal, or at least in the stands? If Roma thought him good enough to be first choice and Juve supposedly want him, he must have something about him. What is it that makes the top two in Italy interested but his stock hasn’t risen at his parent club?

I understand the smoking in the showers bit and the attitude. And at 24/25 years old, you expect a bit more maturity. However, at 24/25, we were still making cock-ups and misjudgments in life, lacking in a bit of maturity as well. Pot, kettle, black.

Double-Barrels and Both Barrels

There’s not a great deal else going on at present. Some of the squad are back in training. Very helpfully, the Mirror told us who was absent and I confess I’d quite forgotten Jack Wilshere had a double-barrelled surname: Jack Wilshere-Injured.

He and Szczesny are alike in many respects. Similar personality, similar regard at Arsenal, although by all accounts, Wenger is fond of the midfielder. It’s been alluded to by Martin Keown that the manager feels some guilt for contributing to Jack’s injury problems by playing him when the stats said not to.

Whether that’s enough to keep – or warrant keeping – Jack at Arsenal is another matter. I suspect that he is one, who if not sold this summer, walks next. And that will be a great shame.

’til Tomorrow.

83 thoughts on “Arsenal & The Magic Money Tree, Mad Jens Returns – Hope or Expectation?

  1. Love Jens’ appointment – He seems already to belong to another era when we had strong, combative, non-nonsense winners at the club – I struggle to find anyone of his ilk at our club now!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Day to all Her Majesty’s loyal subjects in our American Colony. 😈

  3. Orson….I don’t expect that there is very much loyalty in the colony’s these days. If there was a tad of loyalty existing any where The Trump would be claiming it as his! He is desperate for loyalty and in fact demands it from his staff or they are gone. So much can be done with loyalty……

  4. Warm words from Giroud on his wanting to stay:
    “I won a few titles in my career, that is an important thing, but there is another thing which is important for me. And that’s the people remember you as a loyal warrior on the pitch – that you always give your best for the team.
    “And that’s why I want to carry on my good journey at Arsenal and I always want to give my best. I would love to win another title, or maybe more until the end of my contract. The motivation is here, always doing your best to make your family proud.”

    Quite nice to hear even though he isn’t my favourite player, if only our top stars had the same loyalty and commitment to Arsenal. That said, he’s talking a bit like he’s a club legend or something, reel it back a little mate.

  5. My sincerest apologies for confusing 4th July with 23rd November, but have a happy holiday just the same.

  6. Happy Independence Day!

    I never did understand why Sczcesny was found good enough for the top 2 clubs in Italy but not for Arsenal but I have already made my feelings know; bring him back and let him battle for the #1. Hell if Donnarumma can make as big a U-turn as he has in signing his new deal at Milan, than surely Gooners, once they actually realize a player can not only mature but develop, can do the same with Sczcesny who is showing his quality.

    Jack, feel for the lad, I really do but I also think that part of his injury problem is his playing style, instead of riding challenges he goes head on into them. I think we most certainly should sell him and I understand most want to keep him but with the uncertainty of Santi’s return (reports say he is set to miss most of the season), keeping both knowing that we need a CM means one wouldn’t come in.

  7. Sky reporting Lacazette is undergoing his medical right now with plans to have him head to Australia to meet up with the team for pre-season training.

  8. Orson Kaert,

    Haha, yes possibly true. I’d gladly keep him as a squad player for the remainder of his contract if that’s what he really wants. Don’t know how long he has left but the type of player he is, he could continue to change games from the bench well into his 30’s since his game is hardly athletic anyway.

  9. Morning all.
    C. Now I know why you are highly regarded as as a transfer guru, guess you got to that before me. Its happening guys, ALEXANRE LACASETTE is currently at the Emirates having his medical. Will become an arsenal player.before the end of Wednesday

  10. C,

    Sure i wouldn’t mind doing that, I would also include a recommendation note, with an ACLF letter heading. Just to let wenger know how good you are at scouting compared to the scouts we have at the Emirates this days.
    Guess you are American, so happy independence day matter

  11. Kolasinac, Lacazette … still only July 4. This could be a very encouraging summer.

    Time now to release 4-5 others from the wage bill including players who only a few years ago we thought the future of the club would be built around (Wilshere, Chamberlain, Gibbs, Jenkinson), resolve once and for all the uncertainty regarding Ozil (stays) and Sanchez (goes) and if need be, based on the aforementioned duo, spend wisely on further top quality first 11 players.

    Lemar from Monaco would be really nice but very difficult to land, a very interesting test for how badly Arsenal really want to try and get to the top again.

    I would love a midfield player also but cannot see that happening unless the ongoing uncertainty around Cazorla prompts us to act.

    All the other top clubs in England will invest heavily this summer (maybe with the exception of Spurs), we also need to given our starting position was already behind some of them.

  12. Some of the mid-table sides are conducting good business:

    Swansea signing: Abraham (on loan from Chelsea), Roque Mesa (midfielder)
    Everton signing: Sandro (spanish striker), and Keane

  13. I have heard that we are in the bidding for William Carvalho. I midfielder in the fashion of Ya Ya Toure.

  14. Orson Kaert,

    It would be really interesting to see him come in and partner Xhaka. He has definitely developed since we were in for him 2-3 years ago. I would say he is more the defensive version of Yaya Toure, but certainly that ilk physically.

    I wonder if that goes along with the sporadic reports of Le Coq being wanted in La Liga.

  15. I will be interested to see what number Lacazette takes, could be an indicator of who is going and who is leaving. All the loan players are back on the .Com, so we should see who is going and leaving soon.

  16. Some other transfer news:

    Mourinho is angry because of the slow moving Manure transfers, he wanted them all to be done for pre-season training. According to SSNHQ reporter James Cooper who has been speaking with Manure:

    “That’s something [Morata] he’d like to do this week. United are back in training on Saturday and go to the United States on Sunday, so Jose Mourinho would ideally like to have players in for that.

    “The problem with doing these deals is that the selling clubs are waiting for players to come in to them, for example Chelsea waiting for Bakayoko to come in from Monaco, which would free Nemanja Matic up to United, and the same with Morata, do Real Madrid need a striker?”

  17. C,

    For all we know Ornstein could have picked that up from Sky. We need to wait for to make the announcement.

  18. Happy Independence Day, C. 😀

    Philmar, I can’t be doing with all this belated stuff — so Happy Canada Day 2018. 😀

  19. Very happy with the lacazette deal. Assuming Sanchez stays a front three (assuming we stick to a back three) of sanchez, lacazette, and Ozil could be brilliant. We’d then have Welbeck, Giroud, Theo and Perez as backup. I’m guessing a couple of those could leave, especially if Mahrez or Lemar are signed.

    Are we also now definetly out of the running for Mbappe? Not that I ever thought we stood a real chance.

  20. My feelings are well know about Szcz.
    Stats speak even better for him.
    As a team he played on, second to Juve, and beat them 3-1 late in year to make it very close.
    Team qualifies for CL.
    Check, check and check!
    Let him fight it out with Cech…
    Need another deep lying D minded mid and keep Sanchez!
    Cut the deadwood afloat, Arsenal has much.

  21. The Mbappe fantasy is over — you pays your money – £125m – and takes your pick!

    He and his dad are allegedly visiting PSG – and the Morata to Manure deal seems to be held up until Mbappe makes his mind up to go to PSG or Real.

    I have a rumour fact for you — Mbappe does not exist – he is a figment of the media’s imagination designed to drive fans crazy.

  22. Fee confirmed by the oracle Ornstein:

    Lacazette fee Arsenal have agreed with Lyon £45m possibly rising to £52m with add-ons

  23. C,

    I think that is a good price. Considering he’s a striker with very good goal scoring stats and only 26.

    How much did Spuds play for that Newcastle French flop? £35 m!!!

  24. HenryB,

    Thanks mate!

    Yup, Mbappe is and to my mind was always just a fantasy that some wanted. The other thing is that I feel so many Gooners aren’t as happy about Lacazette because of the Mbappe chase which is a shame because Lcazette has proven he scores goals and unlike so many others that have signed from French clubs, he has done so over and over again. I read somewhere he is the only player in the last 20 something years that has scored 20 league goals in 3 consecutive seasons, not to bad.

    The Morata deal I feel isn’t going to happen because while Madrid are a mad crazy club, they are smart and won’t sell Morata until they have somebody coming in and unless they are chasing Belotti or Aubameyang, there isn’t a striker of the quality they want out there that is going to move.

    Also saw, Lemar and his dad are talking of staying at Monaco another season so that dream by some maybe over too.

  25. Adam singh,

    Yea, its a really good piece of business and if it is true, then kudos to Arsene and Arsenal for getting it done at a very good price. Maybe the new contract man knows what he is doing.

  26. Reports in Chile say Sanchez will see out his honor his contract, would be interesting to see what comes of that. Is he doing so to then sign on a free at Bayern (which that club loves to do), leave on a free to Pep’s revolution at Citeh or wanting to see how this season plays out and sign on as he is viewed as a ‘genius’ at Arsenal?

  27. C,

    I was saying that very thing yesterday about Sanchez letting his contract wind down for a year, and then ‘selling’ himself for £50m to Citeh or Bayern, and adding his expected salary of at least £15/16m to that.

    So, that means City, if they avoid a transfer embargo for their Brazilian youth player dealings, or even Bayern won’t get him for free, it’s just that the money will go to Sanchez and his greedy agent instead of to Arsenal this summer.

  28. C,


    Uli Hoeness has been quoted today as saying Sanchez is too expensive, no further detail as to whether than means transfer fee or salary demands. I would expect this is the first play in a long saga – if AFC do not want to sell to a domestic rival then drop the fee, if Sanchez really wants away for football reasons then drop the salary.
    Bayern do not need to rush, they can let this play out and just wait.

  29. HenryB,

    It makes sense, Bayern LOVE do deals like this because they will give the player a high wage and then put in bonuses to make up the difference from what the player wants and what they want to pay for his base.

    Citeh, well that I think gets more interesting and while Pep would love the player, Pep generally doesn’t go for ‘older’ players but instead goes for ultra-talented younger or mid-20’s players. With the addition of Jesus and Aguero looking likely to stay, I can’t see him going for Sanchez next year but instead a top quality young player next season like Dembele of Dortmund or even a player like Lucas Moura of PSG.

  30. Steve,

    Exactly adn something tells me its transfer fee more so than wages. Next summer they will be able to let go of Ribery and/or Robben and use their wages for Sanchez on a free. Bayern are a patient club who already are jam packed with talent when you consider they have Sanches, Koman, Muller, Lewandowski, Robben, Ribery, plus their plethora of midfield talent to adjust formations. They will wait and I can’t see Sanchez dropping his wage demands to move so I think, as I have all summer, that he will stay.

  31. Sky reporting Lacazette has completed his medical and he will be announced soon……….FINALLY he will be an Arsenal player!

  32. I’ve just heard, from a reputable source, that Lacazette has been given a tour of the medical facilities at London Colney!

    He asked for a bed by the window….

  33. I think the funniest thing is when people use the mins/goals rate to talk about Giroud then question Lacazette because of the league he plays in despite he has the BEST conversion rate in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

  34. Damn,was trying to stick around until it was announced, but its time for me to get on the grill as the first Ol’ Fashion has been made for me. If its announced I will pop my head back in.

    For those celebrating Independence Day in that States, enjoy the day; for everybody else, enjoy the rest of your day and I hope we all toast to Lacazette at some point today!

  35. Peace be with you, oh, transfer guru — and you enjoy your ol’fashioneds. 😀

    See you tomorrow, C.

  36. HenryB,


    I think City have to do the deal for Sanchez this summer if they are serious about getting him. They won’t hear until late in the transfer window on their potential ban, so they can’t risk it. Pep will have to try to set up a squad for the next two seasons this summer, or risk being caught out next summer.

  37. That would be a sensible strategy for City, Wavey.

    I would dislike that intensely if it happens — but the control is in the hands of the player.

    Now that is wrong. This should all have been resolved last year.

  38. Could Bayern be accused of showing a bit of class and… well ego for not allowing themselves to be used as pawns in Sanchez and Guardiolas blatant attempt to reunite? They continuously point out sanchez’ wage demands being too high. I guess nobody ever complains about our asking prices (sigh). They’re kinda doing us a favour by making the situation more obvious. I mean if klopp tapped up van dijk I shiver to think of the messages between sanchez and guardiola over the years a player he already actually signed? The link with bayern has always been present, convenient and always to guardiola anyway.

  39. We have secured Lacazette which under the circumstannces is as good a move as we could have made.

    What is increasingly clear is we all have been caught in a melodrama where the story line might start to fall a little flat.

    Ozil and Sanchez patently were not happy, wanted options and refused to re-sign for what will be soon be approaching a year. However, after months of speculations, after weeks of hard news concerning genuine transfers, has there been a sniff of anyone wanting Ozil? Not that anyone is aware. Further to this, has there been any definitive statement from either Bayern or City that they will be negotiating for Sanchez? I am not aware of any either.

    It would be quite a coup if such moves were being managed in total secrecy so I am leaning towards the idea that both Ozil and Sanchez might be swinging in the wind at the moment.
    If so we will be have a stronger team (particularly in offense) for the next year before facing a large problem of players off on a free in 12 months . And, this will start to curtail this present window.

    However, whilst we all know better and should expect Arsenal to be Arsenal, what on earth is happening with outgoing players? It’s a little redundant to keep listing the numerous players we have in some state of flux, but shouldn’t some deals be in the offing already?

    It’s not simply a question of having to shrink to fit the restrictions on squad sizes, but it will provide further liquidity if no income is realized from Sanchez…and we have an extensive list of peripheral and even out of favor players.

    The impression one gets is here simply isn’t enough focus – the UK window has been open a month, the European window open for its first week, players are back in training.

    Willock obviously made his own decision- but surely there are now half a dozen deals (from laundry list of about a dozen which should provide real flexibility) which need to be made?

  40. Out of curiosity, if Sanchez has to wait out the last year of his contract with Arsenal, can he buy injury insurance of some sort?

  41. Rooney to join Everton and reports say that Giroud is set to follow him after we Lacazette is announced.

  42. DFS-,

    Quite agree mate

    I do wonder if Wojo”s situation goes one way or the other fairly soon now that Jena has come in? Wishful thinking maybe, but you’d be pretty worried if there’s no dialogue on the subject?

    I reckon as Arsenal go, this is about as early as we get with showing intent. I had called them out as sitting on their hands and was wrong. I wonder if this is enough of a bargaining piece of leverage to put together a couple of “creative” contracts for the two stars?

    Clearly Sanchez won’t sign a long term contract, but would do a year extension or a deal with some sort of break clause for this time next year? Like if we don’t make CL qualification he has a release clause of £20m to a foreign club or £30m to a domestic one?

    I think we’ll do more business but it will be back to only bringing in once others have been moved on. Or vice versa

    Interesting time ahead

  43. Hector Bellerin wants a move to Barcelona who are prepared to pay £35 million for him. Wenger has refused his request……so far.

  44. It will be a shame to see Giroud go. He’s a better plan B than Walcott and Welbeck and is a different striker to Lacazette. But if it means we get Lacazette I’ll take it on the chin.

    As we all keep saying. Sell sell SELL!

  45. Quite obviously he was tapped up while away with the Spanish squad, just as Fabregas was. The same can be said for Sanchez, his great mate Arturo Vidal encouraged him to go and play for Bayern.

    The latest news on Cazorla is not good, he’s unlikely to be fit until April, just two months from the end of his contract.

  46. Bellerin did cop some disgraceful abuse against CP I think. Maybe Bellerin did a Beckham after that game. Can’t blame him really.

  47. Orson Kaert,

    Both are entirely predictable unfortunately. Re Santi Wenger has got to stop giving contract extensions to crocks, we may as well just throw money down the drain.

  48. andy1886,

    It is a guilt thing with Wenger, it was he who insisted Cazorla play on against Ludogrets, when he asked to be taken off with an injury. He hasn’t played since.

  49. Orson Kaert,


    The difference here is that Wenger treats the players like the human beings they are – not some spoilt part of a machine to be replaced once it’s defective.

  50. Oludotun,

    Well he overplayed Jack and fucked him up and has played Cazorla when he was clearly injured…….that’s not really treating them so well is it?

  51. Oludotun,

    It’s a pity his humanity doesn’t extend to players in the red zone, Wilshire, to injured players, Cazorla and players not fully fit, Bellerin and a host of others throughout his time at Arsenal.

  52. Jonnygunner,

    Makes you question his competence whichever way you look at it. Anyway, easy to assuage guilt when it’s other people’s money that you’re paying with.

  53. Oi!!!

    > Makes you question his competence whichever way you look at it.

    FFS, I have a couple of hours off and it’s anarchy!

  54. andy1886,


    You’ll always have to question his competence even though he’s the best manager Arsenal ever had…
    This same guy managed Ramsey with a broken leg…..and he’s been back ever since…
    Fabregas started playing regularly from a young age too….

    One thing you should note is that players have different anatomies and respond to injuries differently….. Debuchy had been on/off, Jekinson has been plagued too, Little Mozart had little sustained run in the team…..

    Could Wenger have been responsible for all these?
    Some players can take the pressure but others like Wilshere couldn’t… The best you have is a medical advice.

    I think Wenger has probably hurt you in his reign, but he’s still the manager.

  55. Damon,

    Agreed, I think it will be an interesting few weeks – at Arsenal and elsewhere!


    “As we all keep saying. Sell sell SELL!”

    Agreed, I think the ball really is in our court…we could shift 4-6 players and still bring in another two possibly three.

    It would be so great if the majority of fans were excited to enter the new season, and its do-able, whether or not Sanchez leaves. If fact I wish in some ways that was treated as a non-issue at this point.

  56. DFS-,

    Yes we really need to off load now. i think if Sanchez leaves Perez could do a job for us on the left without buying a replacement for that position. If Sanchez wants to leave Arsenal I don’t want him at Arsenal. Likewise Bellerin, Ox, JW etc, As far as the positivity of fans, Wenger could spend 500mil this window and 3 home losses on the trot would see at least half the fan base calling for his head on a plate!

  57. Wailesy,

    I agree completely, I would love to see Perez embraced and given a regular role (though I can’t see it happening).

    I am also with you 100% on the wantaways (which now apparently include Bellerin) but I think we might (as in all parties) have no choice with Sanchez…

    My wish is we enter the season feeling fresh, and as Damon said the other day, this really carries through into the season and builds confidence. I think if we are focused from the off and nail a few good results we might gather some momentum.

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