On Big Fish, Sanchez, Koscielny & More

The patience of the lunatics, in charge of the asylum for decades, snapped. Passing round tabs of acid like it was going out of fashion, they raized the edifice to the ground and replaced it with a grotesque homage to Andoni Gaudi. How did they fund it, you ask? They sold a player to PSG.

£350m is the fag packet figure in circulation for Neymar Jr.; £196m for his release clause, the rest in wages. The gaping hole is agents fees. Raiola claimed £40m last year for selling Pogba to United; if the Brazilian so going for double that, there’s another £80m to pay out on that as well. The first £100m deal is fast becoming the first £250m deal.

All because they couldn’t have Alexis Sanchez. If only they had stretched an offer to £75m; it may have saved them £200m in wages and fees. That’s the level PSG are operating at. Mind you, the way this is all playing out, PSG will end with Neymar Sr and a Chilean miner called Alexis. If it’s a Chilean minor called Alexis, PSG face a transfer ban so they’ve given up on that idea.

Barcelona, also-rans in Spain and Europe, getting a taste of their own medicine as the also-rans of France and Europe come poaching their best players. The new gods and the old do battle across the boardrooms of the continent leaving the bankers incontinent.

All the while, Arsenal pootle along being really nice to everybody. Except for players the manager no longer wants. They train as a little group on their own. Then when clubs come a-knocking with very reasonable offers, we’re like a demented goldfish, trying to gobble all the nourishment we can; “We are not close” is seared into their psyche.

Lozza, lozza laffs

Away from all the kerfuffle, Ivan was jolly chuffed with the tour and is jolly serious about the Emirates Cup because its a “great event”.

And singing his kinda song is Laurent Koscielny. The French defender is wanted by Marseille but he’s not interested. The ‘wife’ and ‘kids’ are settled in London, and he is too.

“I have a long contract with Arsenal and I have [no reason] to leave the club.

At which point, Arsène came into the room, winked at the defender and mouthed ‘coming back at you’.  Lolo smiled and went on,

“Arsene Wenger is a big [inspiration] for me. He bought me from France and has given me everything to help me play for Arsenal, and has helped me as a man too. 

“I have a big [loyalty] to this club and to the boss too. I have stayed here for seven years and I have learnt a lot from him, so I am happy to be here with him and to fight for him because he is a great person.”

Arsène came back in and gave him a hug at this point,

I am just here to enjoy my job and give everything for the team, and get the best results for the club. If i can do all of that, then I am happy.

Koscielny endured a difficult start to a number of seasons, with the odd red card here and there. When he couldn’t contrive new ways to get himself sent off, he found the odd own goal or two sated his appetite for destruction. And yet he came through those spells, going on to become an integral part of the back four.

Rider on the storm

That experience, of the ups and downs, is vital for youngsters coming through. For many it’s a smooth ride to the first team and the first bump in the road comes when they are sold. None cleaned the smelly boots of senior pros or laid the kits out before games. Now, they are finely tuned athletes from day one, with everything done for them.

At this point, you’re expecting me to say that “it didn’t do the older generation any harm” and while I agree to some extent, I’m not sure cleaning boots taught humility. It certainly saved the clubs employing people to do those jobs and made the owners money but now those penny-pinching ways aren’t necessary. There are many more ways to make much bigger money for the clubs.

According to Ivan, focus is on the business now is being ready for the season. Arsenal’s focus then is on shifting the deadwood out of the squad and somehow keeping eleven fit players. Or eleven players fit, which ever you prefer.

’til Tomorrow.

38 thoughts on “On Big Fish, Sanchez, Koscielny & More

  1. Dear YW
    Just to let you know that, there is a problem accessing Aclf this days. If this is a problem that can be fixed speedily then please do.

  2. Really? You reckon if it’s quickly and easily fixed, YW would probably just leave it? Japes with himself, chuckling how he’s kept everyone in limbo on his nonchalant whim?

    Mr church:
    Dear YW
    Just to let you know that, there is a problem accessingAclf this days. If this is a problem that can be fixed speedily then please do.

  3. Doubt Neymar leaves Barca for PSG, can’t see Barca letting that happen without ensuring PSG are given and under all sorts of FFP restrictions and what not.

    Its funny how much Kos has been allowed to play through all of his struggles and yet others have been crucified by supporters. Glad he has for thr most part come through it, though his red in the final match was nothing short of stupidity, but now with his back and Achilles becoming more and more problematic its good to have him around and playing well though he struggled in the 2nd half of last season.

  4. So Antalyaspor in Turkey habe enquired about Jack but their President has said:

    “We made an enquiry and are in talks but Arsenal want a lot for Wilshere. It will be a difficult move to pull off.”

    I’m confused by Arsenal’s transfer dealings, they were willing and did accept 10m for Szczesny and he left and 10m for Elneny who then rejected the move; both players have not only been fit but the former was the undisputed #1 at Roma who the past 2 seasons pushed Juve for the Scudetto and thr latter has played well and is really versatile while showing an ability to pass and defend at a consistent level. How come they are holding out for so much for Jack and Gibbs, its the strangest situation because both have struggled with form and fitness over the past 3 years and for various reasons are at best squad players for Arsenal.

  5. Afternoon,

    City have now bought Mendy, so I guess Monaco will be shutting up shop now. I would imagine that only a big bid for Mbappe will be considered as they try to ensure they actually have some kind of cohesive team to send out onto the pitch. So I guess that means we aren’t getting Mbappe or Lemar then. Another two players on Wenger’s list of almost buys.

  6. Looks like Ospina did a proper job on Pedro. Concussion and multiple fractures and will have to wear a mask. I still can’t see how that was a foul in Arsenal’s favour, but there you go.

  7. C,

    You just said it all.

    10m for Szczesny, 10m for Elneny (accepted by club refused by him) yet we puportedly are demanding 16M for Gibbs, 60% more.

    No issue wth the higher demanded fee for Gibbs but what does that say about the clubs attiude to the other two?

    Not only that, we are still actively trying to jettison Chambers?

  8. Wavey,

    That’s what struck me this weekend….I thought if our deal with Monaco had stalled so would the City deal for Mendy. Apparently not.

    That’s Silva and Mendy to City (who are beginning to look scary with Damilo joining from RM as well) and Bakayoko to Chelsea …

    We are getting out manouvered and though Wenger promised a ‘flurry of activity’ I am lowering expectations to be honest.

  9. DFS-,

    Exactly, its the oddest thing to actively and succesfully try to sell the players that can help but ship out the players that can’t or won’t because of where they are on the depth chart.

    It’s weird because it seems counter-productive.

  10. If I may bring it back to Sanchez again, it is looking more and more likely that Sanchez is running out of options as Pep seems to be building a young talented squad not adding any players over a certain age really. PSG are chasing Neymar and I think with Arsene’s ties to the upper management at PSG, he has made his stance clear. For as much as Ozil hasn’t had any bids come in for him, Sanchez hasn’t either with Bayern saying they like the player but aren’t interested due to fee and wages, PSG aren’t and Pep seems more than happy with his attacking talent have added pieces last summer and adding Bernardo this summer and has focused on the defense.

  11. Reports say we have registered interest in Dembele. If its true that Rodgers and Celtic want 20m for him and will allow him to leave only after their last CL qualifying match, then I think we should definitely work to get a deal and terms agreed with them now and then allow him to stay until then.

  12. The talk of Arsenal in for William Carvalho is interesting because getting him would certainly be a coup as he has developed quite a lot and even if you haven’t watched him at club level, his performances in helping Portugal to the Euro crown and since then are encouraging signs.

  13. Dam, concussion and multiple fractures, so unprofessional. No need for that type of challenge in competition let alone a friendly.

    Speaking of class, William and dembele need to be registered, cos we’ve maxed out on skyvers. I know where will would play, not to sure about belly tho.

  14. Colts,

    Dembele could play on either the flanks or as a #9. If we played in a more 4231 he could play on either flank but if we played in the 343 he could play across the front 3. With 4 in the back we could go with a front 4 of Sanchez/Dembele/Lacazette/Ozil and in a front 3, well choose 3 of the 4.

  15. C,

    Thanx, could he play in a 5 with 3 behind or just the 2? Either way, if true, the device is probably leaving (can’t decide if good or bad). Tho Theo seems fairly content collecting wages in London – park life 😉

  16. C:
    How come they are holding out for so much for Jack and Gibbs, its the strangest situation because both have struggled with form and fitness over the past 3 years and for various reasons are at best squad players for Arsenal.

    They should get more in transfer fees to another EPL club awash in TV contract monies….they qualify as homegrown talent

  17. I saw the match btn City vs Utd and found that city they got someone new boy in name of Foden. This boy is a real deal and very promising. City and Utd have strengthen enough while Old Prof don’t. I m afraid is marriage with Gooners will end badly this season.

  18. Evening,

    I wonder if Lemar was the replacement for Sanchez and with Mendy to Mancity that particular piece of puzzle is now gone?

    I really don’t see us keeping Sanchez. Very unlike our modus operandi in these matters.

    Though who is our next target for replacement or is Wellbeck Lans and the new lw?

  19. Swansea have just rejected a bid of £40m plus £5m in add-ons from Everton, they want £50m and no add ons apparently

  20. Another rumour about Elneny, this time Galatasary are in for him. For me the only way we get rid of Elneny is if we are bringing in an upgrade. If Wenger thinks Elneny isn’t required and we have resources in the team to cover, he has no idea what he is doing.

    Also a story around that Perez is pissed at his treatment by Wenger including having his number given to Lacazette. If true, he has been treated really poorly and Wenger never wanted him at the club any way.

    Both Elneny and Perez appear to have been stop gap players because Wenger didn’t want to pay the money for the players really needed. I think both players would have been very valuable squad players given the chance, but they don’t seem to have been Wenger’s choice.

  21. Welsh Corgi Cardigan,

    I agree with what C has just said (it’s something we’ve posed for a while now) – I do not think anyone is in for Sanchez. With a connection between PSG/beIN and Wenger that deal could have easily been done, and made sense.

    But… after the Lemar deal ‘broke’ down there are a few things to note. That weekend (two weekends ago?) Monaco were reported to be annoyed in the press and ‘withdrawing’.

    Were Monaco going to reveal Wenger had never bid as they were fed up of Arsenal in general? Well, Wenger just days later was (suddenly) very clear no bid had ever been made for Mbappe in spite of months of speculation. Virtually no mention of Lemar (then or since).

    Just this weekend Wenger emphasizes in the strongest manner Sanchez is staying. Either Wenger is going to lose all credibility or Sanchez is to going see out his contract. We had no choice either way – no bid.

    We aggressively pursued Lacazette and then stalled and faffed around on Lemar…because we remained in the quandry created by Sanchez…and are still in it. The Mendy sale is therefore a blow because I thought Monaco had closed shop.

    I am getting nervous we will be forced into a corner to buy someone we do not actually want (Mahrez for example, a handy player but not my choice) or we might now just flail through the rest of the window selling off whoever we can.

    In spite of the promise and expectations this window arrived with we end up with Lacazette, Sanchez gone in a season for free, but with books balanced and a net spend of little to nothing which we could have done regardless with ambition – players coming and going.

    I think the question which is going to dog us the entire season (yet again) is Sanchez. In 12 months Sanchez might still appear a luxury item no one actually needs to be competitive.

    Take City – they are building a young squad, De Bruyne, Sane, Jesus, Walker, Silva, Ederson, Mendy and Denilo…if those guys click next season, why would they need Sanchez in 12 months?

    This has always been of our own making.

    By the end of next season (possibly before) I could appear a complete mistake we did not sell Sanchez to the highest bidder the minute the window opened and then proceed with a wholesale restructure the squad.

    Throughout this entire season, the Sanchez question could potentially still remain unresolved and an issue which undermines the squad on many levels.

  22. Raoila got 40 mill for brokering the Pogba deal. Wow. None of that money would have gone to Pogba, I suppose, so he doesn’t care. Indeed, he’d love the fact that Raoila doesn’t touch his take-home pay. What a business to be in. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of agents then sling a bit of that money back to the player!

  23. Wavey,

    The Elneny time at Arsenal is growing more and more frustating because while he might not be the most dynamic(I think he has it in him just as he showed when he arrived and was superb, think of the Spuds match and against Barca for instance) he is consistent and dependable and not only plays quickly but is smart in his passing always looking to play the team from defense to attack in one or two passes. Not only that but defensively he is really good and solid (was the driving force defensively for Egypt outside of the match he missed with injury) while pressing and closing down players. I think the common misconception is that every position needs to be dynamic, but we don’t need that when we have Xhaka’s cultured left foot and our attack is built around dynamic players such as Ozil and Sanchez with the addition of Lacazette. Criminal especially when Arsene and Arsenal have midfielders who have consistently been given the chance and haven’t done the job.

    The Perez interview is sad when you think about when he has played he performed and for all the plaudits Giroud got when he went on his 6 match goal scoring and match winning goals, people tend to forget it was Perez who put it on a platter for him with an empty net in the FA Cup and it was Perez who was the catalyst against Bournemouth. His treatment isn’t that of modern futbol, but of a manager who prefers to play his favorites and not those who perform. For instance, for all of Ox’s potential, without end product he is essentially Victor Moses, yet Perez showed end product and was treated like shit.

  24. Thanks for the post Yogi

    I still have a feeling that Sanchez will be sold near the end of the window but I would not be shocked if he ended up playing out his contract.

    I can understand the emotional attachment to Wilshere but I have no clue why Arsene would make it difficult to sell to sell Gibbs. I think Gibbs is the longest serving first team player on the squad. Like dozens and dozens of players before and after him, he looked like a superb prospect early in his career and many were predicting greatness as a LB for him. However, just like dozens and dozens and dozens of other young players before and after him eventually it became clear that he was not going ever be more then a squad player. The addition of Kolasanic effective buries Gibbs at the bottom of the squad and its time to let him go.

  25. I see no reason to try and sell Elneny. He is the perfect back end of the squad player. He is somewhat versatile and he is steady and not a risk to hurt the team when he plays. The only reason I can think that Arsene would want to sell him is if he is trying to clear some space in the squad so he can use Iwobe more in central midfield in the cup games.

  26. I want to be proven wrong, but I see less and less rhyme and reason to this window.

    Chambers and Elneny on the chopping block whilst taking a stand on Gibbs and Wilshere.

    Yet, its a personal decision for Giroud and Koscielny whilst all quiet on the Oxlade Chamberlain front. As regards Theo Walcott, not a peep though he appears surplus to requirements and costs a king’s ransom week in and out.

    Spurs had the best team last season and do not want to tamper (rightly or wrongly) United, Chelsea and Everton have taken strides and City are transforming themselves.

    Please tell me some wonderful rabbit is going to be pulled out of the hat, otherwise I can see us treading water next season.

  27. C,

    Yes, horrible Perez interview.

    I can’t imagine Perez showed up at Arsenal with anything but excitement and commitment in equal measures.

    Whatever the trigger for issues with particular players such as Campbell, at least I can look back and point out I anticipated (very early days) something was awry with Perez and Elneny from the get go, and it is distressing.

    Elneny might yet resurrect himself but Perez is a gonner. The worst aspect being not that a player loses favor for no apparent reason (certainly nothing to do with form or performance), it is more once fans find a voice in the matter , Wenger appears to double down in pettiness both regarding the player and fans alike.

  28. DFS-,

    Thanks, it is baffling and I agree with your reasoning. It certainly can come back and bite us in the arse.

    The wheelings and dealings of our transfers sort of seem to be made up as we go along.
    Though if I were a betting man I´d put my money on Sanchez being gone 1 september. But
    that´s just me and I usually get it all wrong 🙂

  29. Lucas Perez has been the subject of some shabby treatment since he signed in last season. Hardly given any game time and then suffers the indignity of having the number nine shirt taken away without be told first. He has described that as an “ugly gesture” and says he feels “cheated” because the club refused to let him leave for China in the mid-season transfer window and promised him more game time, but he played even less in the second half of the season than the first.

    Perez wants to leave and return to Deportivo La Coruna where he has been offered a ten year contract that would allow him to eventually move into an off-field role.

    Wenger has been boasting that we can afford to let Sanchez run his contract down and leave for nothing next summer, in that case we can afford to let Lucas Perez leave for a very modest fee and make some recompense for the shabby way Arsenal have treated him.

  30. Orson Kaert,

    It’s a recurring theme that Wenger gives very little game time to players that appear to be forced onto him. Maybe he has them very low on his list of potential targets and if we end up with them he gives them limited time, but that must be down to his tight grip on the purse strings. If he wants to bring certain star players in he needs to pay the money to get them, because other teams will if he won’t. We appear to be in one of those situations with Lemar where Wenger is keen on him, but doesn’t want to pay up. He will end up going to a team willing to pay the money either this season, or next. I agree with C that I like the idea of Dembele as an option, but if he is one of Wenger’s lesser alternatives to Lemar I don’t want us to buy him because Wenger won’t play him. It is almost as if Wenger throws a strop and accepts we need a player in a certain position, but then won’t work with him.

  31. Perez has scored 7 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions with very few starts. He has also provided assists. That isn’t too shabby a return from a player in his first season adjusting to a new league, especially as he has been played in various positions. I really don’t understand what was expected of him.

  32. Campbell I was never down with. Nice squad player, but he only shone in a team that was beyond awful at the time. There were no alternatives. Not hard to shine when everyone else is a matt shade of shite?

    Perez is a different story. He showed a bit of class, clever play and looked it he was given a bit of time and space to adapt to those around him, he’d be a real asset.

    I’ve never been hot on Elneny either, but I just can’t fathom letting him go, unless we have an upgrade replacement lined up. Which there has been zero noise about, so I’m reckoning more likely not?

  33. Orson Kaert,

    Well said, totally agree


    Yup, I think Chambers is in that mold also which is why Wenger seems unfazed to unload him.

    Homegrown player, Captain of the England U21s, a stand out on loan and …disposable.

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