STONE COLD FRIDAY: It’s the Aubame Ying Yang Show

He wants to come to Arsenal. Dortmund wants rid of him. Arsenal has an Alexis-sized hole to fill. And yet the hokey-cokey goes on. The conmen play on; some have cards close to their chest, others with their cards inside their chests. Arsenal has shown a bit of leg, the German club want to see a bit more skin and so the show continues. Not to worry, just five more sleeps until this malarkey is over.

Spare a thought for our Olivier Giroud; fella doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. The only thing he knows is that if he stays at Arsenal, chances are that he won’t make the Les Bleus squad for Russia 2018. The mind boggles because Giroud is on top of Dortmund’s shopping list to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. You have to ask, what on earth is going through the minds of Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat. Everyone wants this deal done already – hell, even the tea lady at Dortmund. Yet reports this morning suggest that an impasse will force Dortmund to go shopping elsewhere for a replacement before they let Aubameyang move to Arsenal.

Of Good Headaches And Horses For The Right Courses

Internet chatter from the world’s best armchair pundits and managers has now moved onto the options Arsenal has for the rest of the season. The League Cup, Europa League and 4th place trophy – mathematically at least – are still for grabs. The green shoots of recovery are springing on the horizon. Lacazette, Aubameyang – surely he’ll arrive, right? – and Mkhitaryan are most definitely upgrades to Giroud, Welbeck Iwobi and Theo. Who’d have thunk it at the beginning of the season? For me, the question as to how Arséne will fit in all these players is moot. It’s a very nice headache to have.

ON paper at least, Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan collectively have enough firepower in them to trouble defences domestically and in the Europa league. Injuries, suspensions and rotation to counter specific opposition tactics will sort the selection headaches. With Ozil at his best, we have an assist machine, complemented by Li’l Jack’s growing influence, nous and ability to drive the midfield. Add to that Xhaka’s passing range and the options are promising. We just have to get the team working as a unit and not being dependent on an individual to have a one-man show. There is the question of Ramsey and where he will fit in. Wilshere has already made himself indispensable. My hope is that Ramsey’s continued time on the bench makes him a super-sub as and when he comes on to provide different options.

“I’ll Carry The Piano, You Play The Tunes”

Reading the match reports in the media after Wednesday’s League cup semi-final victory, I was bemused. Most football writers were baffled that Arséne was actually capable and willing to make in-game tactical adjustments. They were even more baffled that he did it at half-time. That tactical change provided an answer to a question that has lingered for years. A question that has misguidedly been framed as the replacement to Patrick Vieira, the supposed king of the defensive midfielder. Thing is, Vieira was more a box to box powerhouse with Petit and Gilberto playing more of the defensive midfield role.

The tactical switch saw Elneny doing a “Makelele” and playing more of a sweeper and a transition catalyst in the second half. Xhaka’s goal started off with an interception by Elneny who played effectively as our water carrier. He did the job perfectly, and you know he was effective because he kept it simple. Break up play, recycle and move the ball to the piano players. He was also very effective at foiling counter-attacks and when the need arose to immediately slot into defence when either Koscielny or Mustafi went walk-about.

Like Wenger described Monreal, on Wednesday, Elneny was also one of the silent leaders. I like him a lot, especially because he doesn’t do “Hollywood”. Every team needs players who keep the machine going without fuss, players who you only notice when they don’t play well. I would very much like to see our defensive formation from the second half given a run to help solidify it.

Director Of Football, Director of Recruitment, Who Cares?

This January circus has also shown that change is imminent when it comes to transfer policy. We have to wait and see if it will stop the madness of the last few years, the kind of madness that made us mock Liverpool by offering £1 over the buy-out clause for Suarez. Whether Wenger insists Sven Mislintat isn’t a Director of Football is immaterial. Something has to give.

Saying that I’m not too excited about the alleged talks with West Brom for Jonny Evans. He doesn’t make my socks roll up and down with excitement. If we have that kind of money for a defender, surely, we can look elsewhere and probably get a better deal in the summer. We have enough cover for now with Monreal also being Mr Utility himself, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Holding, Mavropanos, Bielik and Da Silva. Arsenal’s focus should be getting the squad to work better as a unit with the new names that have come in. We don’t need to go off the reservation for players who don’t make sense at this point in time.

Have a great weekend good people.

62 thoughts on “STONE COLD FRIDAY: It’s the Aubame Ying Yang Show

  1. To PEA or not to PEA?

    Surely Wenger can see the benefit of playing a defensive midfielder? You’re right IOK in Wenger 1.0 he played Vieira with a deep lying midfielder, Petit, Grimandi or Gilberto. If he used a more attacking player like Parlour then Vieira sat deeper. At some points you could argue he played two defensive midfielders in Gilberto and Vieira against the bigger sides.

    I get the impression Wenger is feeling the heat (is his contract dependent upon CL qualification?). I think we will see more pragmatic formations for the rest of the season.

  2. Pete the Thirst,

    I think that his targets are financial first, sporting second. Kreonke will understand that if it takes a spend of £100m to get back into the CL (indeed it could be more than that including increased wages and bonuses) and the payback is only increased revenues of £40m (the figure generally accepted for reaching the first knockout round) then it’s not worth the investment. Top six is virtually guaranteed, brings in modest additional revenues from TV and gate receipts, and as you can see we are more or less breaking even in the transfer market while cutting wages (at the same time as wages are rising exponentially). So the Europa League makes sense.

    The biggest potential problem is what the sponsors make of it all. If they start to lose interest then Stan may sit up and take notice. Not that we are considered an elite club by sponsors anyway, our performance in that area is already strictly Europa League standard.

  3. andy1886,

    The way things have been going you’re probably right. If he stays on past 2019 I think Wenger 4.0 could be destructive to the club.

  4. Well my friend, and no offense to Yogi the great, but praising Elneny and talking transfers my friend ia my wheel house!!!

  5. Not sure about that. Still far from convinced we’ll get him and the cynical part of me still thinks that it’s noise so that it can be said “we tried”

    Furthermore, I’m not sure that Wenger isn’t so stubborn that he wouldn’t derail a transfer like this so the DoF, who isn’t, loses face on the first time of trying

    If it doesn’t happen then its on Gazidis and not Wenger for a change.

  6. I can see why Wenger wouldn’t want to lose Giroud. He’s an established French International, brings something to the team and scores regularly. He is a man you want to keep in your squad as back up as he’s already here and so won’t cost a transfer fee right now. Aubama won’t come in at a high price, that’s not the SKE style. The return of investment on a high price is non existent, so if Dortmund want more than a fair price, it simply won’t happen.

  7. Some stuff from Arsene’s presser:

    On Mhkitaryan…

    I think he can play in all midfield positions.
    Box to box, not in a defensive role.
    All the other positions aren’t out of reach.
    He has usually been a wide player and can absorb the role as a winger, playmaker but he can be a box to box player.

    On Santi (absolutely gutted for him, at this point its so much more than futbol as I genuinely am gutted for Santi the man)…

    He was expected to be back in now.
    He had a new surgery.
    I am not informed about his medical situation.
    I wished him well about two weeks ago but he hasn’t come back yet.
    Medical people know better than I do if he will play again in 2018.
    It will be hard for him. We love him and he is a great footballer but you need to be right to play at the intensity of the Premier League.

    On Giroud and whether he has asked to leave….

    I have consistent exchange with him.
    We speak about it a lot.
    He has played a lot of games and scored important goals.
    He is an important player and every player has a lot of respect for him.
    He will get more games and can only leave if someone else comes in.

    On Ozil……

    Our intention is to keep Ozil at the club.
    Hopefully, we will manage to do that very soon.
    Not close enough to be optimistic but not far enough to be pessimistic.
    The vibe I get from his commitment, focus and desire, he behaves like someone who is ready to commit.
    After that, contract negotiations are what they are.
    We aren’t close enough to tell you yes, he will stay.

  8. C,

    Beats me. Potentially we have PEA, Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck and Perez on loan. Two of those would certainly be surplus to requirements, one of which would likely be Perez (and on that point why on earth did we loan rather than sell him?). We hear that Welbeck is going nowhere, and to be honest he would be the sort of level that you would expect to be third choice as well as younger and able to play in a wider range of roles. Giroud only makes sense as #2 and will also lose any transfer value because of his age. I expect also that OG’s wages are higher than DW’s.

  9. Drazy

    Following on from your comment on yesterday’s post:

    If they want to take Giroud as a replacement for Aubameyang you would have thought he would be playing. If they are desperate to bring in a replacement as they say, then surely the replacement is going to get game time? Based on how the season has gone for him so far, I’d have thought he isn’t going to get much game time at all at Arsenal. Salary paid and more chance of games in the run up to a World Cup (probably his last) must have more sway than Mrs Giroud not liking the shopping options.

  10. Damon,

    The cynic in me thinks that a huge part of Giroud not being on the table is Arsene saying he isn’t going.

    I mean the fact that Dortmund were willing to pay 1.5m for the loan of Giroud means that the price would have dropped on Aubameyang and Giroud falls into that ‘Arsene loyalist’ group so if Arsene didn’t want Giroud to leave he would have made it perfectly clear.

  11. James,

    Giroud only makes sense if we don’t land PEA. If we do then he’s third choice and will rarely play. Not good value on his wages and not good for the player at his age and with the WC coming up in the summer. I think that if we do get PEA then OG leaves, but as Damon says I’m not totally convinced that we will close out the deal given our history of cocking up deals right at the death (Sanchez, Suarez, Higuain etc.). Given that we currently are in credit to the tune of around £45m on transfers this season money should not be the reason to fail given that we are not so far apart in our valuations of the player.

  12. andy1886,

    I get all of that but Giroud on loan to Dortmund is actually a win win for all parties involved: from Arsenal perspective they get Aubameyang and some of the trasnfer fee turns into Giroud (the 1.5m loan fee), from Dortmund’s perspective they get a ready made replacement who they actually want and from Giroud’s perspective he gets one last chance to prove himself for his last World Cup. I get what your saying and Welbeck is actually the perfect #3 for everything that you said but the biggest thing is that Welbeck would be able to come on for any of the front 4 and will do the defensive work while still offering that physical outlet with pace. Perez is interesting because he could do a role for us as our CF #3 and CC and early FA Cup CF. None of it makes sense and the crazy thing is, if Aubameyang comes, Giroud will be pissed that he didn’t go to Dortmund because he won’t get match time ever

  13. I would rather we spend the money that is being offered for Evan to get Aubameyang and wait until the summer to see about CB’s, then not get Aubameyang now and keeping Giroud and buying Evans.

  14. James,

    He was scoring regularly, but has looked even more static than usual in the games he has played. He is likely to be the most expensive non-playing striker we have, so it makes sense to get his wages off the book. If he has to be part of the Aubameyang deal, it makes a lot of sense for the club.

  15. Wavey,

    I suspect that Mrs Giroud has rather more influence following his previous marital indiscretions, that sort of thing changes the power dynamic in a relationship. Olivier may not be wearing the trousers in his household these days.

  16. James,

    What’s the fair price for the top goal scorer in the Bundesliga? It doesn’t seem unreasonable to stump up £55m for him, given the silly money being paid for other players.

  17. Wavey,

    A comparison might be Higuain in 2016. Both players had scored goals consistently over several seasons, Higuain was 28 then as is Auba now, but Juve paid €90m back then when prices were lower because they wanted the player and top strikers are thin on the ground.

    Of course if we hadn’t ballsed up our strategy in 2013 we would have signed either Higuain or Suarez back then for less than we have to pay for PEA now.

  18. Wavey,

    Yes, that would be a tough thing to do, but surely if OG wanted to move and get playing time he’d make that clear and AW would reluctantly allow him to leave. The other possibility is that AW has indicated to him that he will get game time with us, perhaps because the PEA deal is unlikely to happen.

  19. andy1886,

    And that’s a scary thought. Either Wenger is intending to play Giroud and drop Lacazette to the bench, or he is intending to shunt Lacazette to the wing and play Giroud through the middle. Both of those options mean we are much weaker than with Sanchez. Actually, any option where we don’t bring in another attacking player makes us weaker. If Wenger thinks that is enough to keep us in 6th, he is kidding himself. We have already shown this season with a Sanchez performing at around 50% that we can get caught out by teams below us, so what makes him think that we will do any better with Sanchez gone?

  20. Wavey,

    Yup, although you may have already seen the quote where he says that we are not weakened even if we don’t sign PEA. Sounds suspiciously like getting your excuses in early (see also the story about PEA being a disruptive influence in the Dortmund dressing room, one we’ve heard before to discredit Alexis).

  21. Question: Why would a club with a history of f*cking up deals as the TW closes play chicken over £10m when they are clearly able to pay the required fee (or at least get near enough to do a deal) with barely a dent in their transfer funds? A club £45m in profit on deals this season, and one with in excess of an additional £100m in the bank? Makes you wonder despite the travelling team if they really are serious.

  22. Fair price for a player that has finished in the top 3 in the Bundesliga goal scoring chart the last few seasons and is ONLY 28 years old and would fit perfectly into our system and form a ideal partnership with the other 3 front players is at the minimum 50-60m.

    Just think, if we get Aubameyang we will have 2 of the top 10 European goal scorers of the past 3-4 years that will partner a man in Ozil who since 15/16 is tied with Suarez and Eriksen with 30 assists in their respective leagues (De Bruyne tops the list with 33) despite never playing with a true CF or near the quality of the other players on the list.

  23. andy1886,

    In regards to your question, its two fold for me.

    1. Dortmund aren’t willing to drop the price because of the Giroud thing and also the fact that they will have to replace Aubameyang and that will cost money especially if their main targets are Dolberg of Ajax and Yedder of Sevilla this late in the window so they are holding out and trying to do those deals as well (Dortmund are notorious for that see most recently Dembele not leaving until Yarmolenko was bought).

    2. We are serious about it but are playing a very dangerous cat and mouse game with Dortmund knowing that Aubameyang wants to leave, knowing that Dortmund actually want him gone and hoping that as the window gets closer a deal will be struck with there being a compromise and Arsenal paying somewhere between what Dortmund want and our last bid.

  24. Great post Darius Well written again as usual.

    Arsene should have learned the importance of a good DM with Vieira/Gilberto. Instead of buying a decent DM he went with Song/Denilson. Even though a lot of people did not like him I thought Arteta was pretty good but I am not sure he is the sort of DM we really needed. I doubt there would have been another big team in the world that would have used Arteta as their full time DM but he was a significant upgrade over Song. Then we had the brief run from Le Coq who was brilliant and Arsene once again had the chance to see first hand how valuable a real defensive destroyer can be in that position but he follows Le Coq with Xhaka which has been every bit as much of a disaster as Denilson/Song. The point of all of this is that history suggests that Arsene does not learn his lesson with regards to the type of player we need at DM. May be this time will be different but I will believe it when I see it.

    Regarding Elneny, he has done well against Palace and Chelsea but its only been 2 games and he was a poor in that role against Nottingham Forest so the jury is still out. The one thing that I think we can be confident is he will probably be better then Xhaka as DM but so could almost any player with a pulse and 2 working legs. Elneny’s game is reminiscent of Arteta and that is probably his ceiling. I doubt he will bring back memories of Gilberto or Makelele and I doubt he is the sort of player that any of the worlds other big teams would start at DM but its a welcome relief to see anyone other then Xhaka at that position. I hope Mo gets a run of games and we will see how it works.

  25. Regarding Jack, he has done well since he started playing but I think it is asking for another disaster similar to Cazorla if we try to build a team which is dependent on Jack. I guess anything is possible but if anyone really believes that he has finally gotten past all of his injury issues and he will be available on a regular basis then I have a $10,000,000 winning lottery ticket that I will trade you for six pack of Fullers London Porter.

    Similar to Diaby I think we need to use Jack as much as we can while we can but if his particular skill set is really critical then we need to buy someone who can give us a something similar but is more likely to stay healthy.

  26. Giving Jack a low base wage but lots of incentives for number of games played and performance is rare outbreak of common sense from Arsene and our front office. Perhaps that common sense is a bit of evidence that someone other then Arsene was doing the thinking.

  27. I struggle to understand why our system has to be so complex that it requires every moving piece to be in perfect synch and working at top efficiency or it seems to fall apart. Ozil needs someone like Jack and they both need the perfect DM and they all need Doris the tea lady to stand in aisle 63 in order for any of them to really be effective. When you set up a so interdependent on every part being perfectly tuned then what happens when one player gets hurt or loses form. What happens if we resign Ozil and Jack to to new contracts and Jack gets hurt of Ozil starts to slow down even more as hits his 30’s? Then everything we are trying to build goes in the crapper again. The one thing that is clear to anyone who has watched us for the last 13 years is just how fragile our form is.

    I am not campaigning against giving Ozil and Jack new contracts right now because that is a different debate but I am campaigning for revising our system so it becomes more simple and straight forward and not so easilty disrupted by things which are out of our control.

  28. Exactly this

    The big guns being over there to close the deal is what everyone seems to be using as the proof that we’re serious. Cost to the business for that? I’d say less than £100k, and I’m being generous.

    If that’s the outlay to sell it to half the customers that they “tried”, it’s a tiny percentage of a £45m profit, before you consider the circa £1m a month you’ve chiselled off the wages. I know it’s extremely cynical, but, I’ve been burned by this lot before.

    I know I’ve mentioned it earlier, but it really wouldn’t shock me it Wenger did anything he could to scupper the deal. If power has been taken from him in a somewhat clandestine way (which it appears to have done, from the outside) I could well see him trying to make the boys in Germany come back with eggs all over their faces. It would give him an angle to claw what he’d lost back again.

    Question: Why would a club with a history of f*cking up deals as the TW closes play chicken over £10m when they are clearly able to pay the required fee (or at least get near enough to do a deal) with barely a dent in their transfer funds? A club £45m in profit on deals this season, and one with in excess of an additional £100m in the bank?Makes you wonder despite the travelling team if they really are serious.

  29. We want Aubameyang, Dortmund want Giroud, we don’t want to pay Dortmund’s asking price, Dortmund don’t want to pay our asking price for Giroud. Giroud doesn’t want to go to Dortmund. Simple solution, halve Giroud’s asking price this will effectively reduce Dortmund’s asking price. Give the other half of Giroud’s asking price as a (bribe) incentive payment to Mrs Giroud to encourage her husband to move to Dortmund.

    Oh and give Giroud’s agent a kick up the arse.

  30. I think beyond that, with our current squad that Elneny needs to feature more in the DM position. Freddo was correct in how Elneny should play for us and while Busquets is a BRILLIANT player, I think the best part of his game is that whether its defending or attacking he keeps things simple and efficient. We don’t need spectacular in that position when you have Mhkitaryan, Jack, Ozil, Lacazette and hopefully Aubameyang, you need consistent, efficient, simple and somebody you know will do their job over and over again and maximize his ability in doing so.

    Sure there are times when Elneny will be more expansive (see ball over the top against Palace to Ozil and a couple against Chelsea to Lacazette) but what makes Elneny so important to this team is that he will do the exact same thing over and over again which is what led to our 2nd goal against Chelsea. The other thing is that he will keep things ticking and ALWAYS be available to really everybody on the pitch for a simple pass.

  31. Wavey,

    Yeah, we tend to struggle to attract top notch deals, maybe not being challengers in the PL or CL has something to do with that 😉 History doesn’t mean much when half your fan base don’t recall your last title win.

    The cryptocurrency currency deal isn’t one that I’d want associated with the club, surely they are plenty of other potential sponsors? ManU have a tyre partner in Indonesia for example (I saw their billboard while in a queue outside Jakarta) that’s what acting like a big club does for you. I travel quite a lot and can’t recall the last piece of promotional material I saw outside the UK that featured our club.

    Of course investing to win titles and hitting the jackpot with sponsors is a gamble and Stan is a low risk steady growth kind of guy and Wenger is quite happy to play along as long as he keeps getting his slice.

  32. Apparently our fourth choice GK Deyan Iliev is in negotiations with Swansea over a move in the summer as he will be able to move on a free.

  33. As we seem to be clearing out the dead wood and reducing the wage bill wherever possible can anyone tell me what was the point of Asano? ‘One for the future’ (he’s 23) according to Wenger he’s scored just 4 in 26 Bundesliga 2 appearances last season and just 1 in 15 appearances in the Bundesliga this season for Stuttgart. Like many other projects even if we can sell him I doubt that we’ll ever recover the investment in fees and wages.

  34. Tottenham are understood to have agreed terms on a four-and-a-half-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura.

    According to French outlet RMC, the Brazilian was in London on Thursday when the PSG players had a day off. The 25-year-old is said to have met with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

    Moura returned to Paris on Thursday evening but it is now claimed the Brazil international has struck a deal with Spurs, who will match his £79,000-a-week wages.

    Spurs are yet to agree a deal with PSG, who refused the initial offer a loan move. But the Ligue 1 giants have lowered their asking price to £22million.

  35. Wavey:

    What’s the fair price for the top goal scorer in the Bundesliga? It doesn’t seem unreasonable to stump up £55m for him, given the silly money being paid for other players.

    I’m with you on a price in the 55-60 range, seems like a ‘fair price’ even if Giroud stays. Aubama is fairly proven, his disciplinary record doesn’t warrant a big discount. But would SKE and the Board sanction the extra money above 50? Probably, but the big question is if Wenger still has the clout to block the deal. Seems like the deal should have been over the line by now, so something substantial is obviously getting in the way, something like a man called Wenger.

  36. I understand the World Cup is important for players but its 3-4 weeks of football. Which of us would want to uproot our family and move wife and kids to a new country where they don’t know the language and probably have no interest in staying long term just for the possible chance to improve your position on a World Cup squad? Giroud already has a relatively long term contract and security and he is probably going to have to take a pay a pay cut to sign a similar length deal in Germany and the other option would be a loan but who wants to uproot your family for a few month loan spell? I would think there has to be some significant tangible benefit such as more money or long term security to make an unwanted move seem palatable to someone like Giroud. I suspect if most of us were in his situation we would give the club a double barrel middle finger salute if they told us to make this move so they could buy a new player.

  37. andy1886,

    Yea, but it actually makes sense and its part of what I have been saying about Dortmund. They want to wait to find an Aubameyang replacement, its the way they operate to be honest.

    The Giroud thing is just Arsenal.

  38. The #1 reason players move is for more money and a long term contract with more security. The second is to move to a bigger team that gives them a better chance to win big trophies. Dortmund does not offer any of those benefits for Giroud.

  39. Bill,

    Au contraire mon ami. If he gets to play regularly with Dortmund then he will almost certainly feature for France in the summer and potentially win the biggest trophy possible – the World Cup.

  40. Bill,

    Your generalizations normally don’t bother me but this one does and does so quite a bit. We have seen PLENTY of players move and leave big clubs not only for more match time but possibly for less money. I mean look at players like Morata, Jese both of whom were at Madrid but BOTH of whom asked and were desperate to leave to not only play more but Morata left for Chelsea and Jese went to PSG and then Stoke. Those are just a couple examples but I could think of PLENTY others.

    Second with Giroud this is his last chance at playing in the World Cup and again its not about a permanent move like you think and NOBODY has said that, the move is about a loan move which benefits ALL parties:

    Arsenal – can use him to help the Aubameyang tranfer

    Dortmund – get a ready made replacement for Aubameyang and come summer all parties can discuss a permanent move possibly

    Giroud – gets the chance to be first choice CF playing match in and match out while he vies for a spot on the French World Cup squad which is in no way shape or form guaranteed.

    So your completely wrong in your assumption and generalization

  41. Bill the World Cup is the greatest prize in football. Most players will never get the chance to play in it. But to do so can represent the pinnacle of their career. To dismiss as just two or three weeks of football is somewhat disingenuous.

    Giroud has been playing international football for France for several seasons almost solely with the intention of getting to the finals. To continue to do so he needs to be playing regularly at the highest possible level. He won’t do that at Arsenal, Dortmund represents a good chance of doing so. As a professional footballer he has to accept the reality that his chosen career may necessitate the inconvenience of uprooting his family from time to teach.

  42. Andy

    Fair enough.

    If the rumors we hear are true then Giroud moving to Dortmund is probably not going to happen. I can’t imagine that Arsene or Mislintat or Ivan would be willing to have this deal fall thru because they were reluctant to let Giroud go. We certainly don’t need Giroud if we have PEA and I am sure that the club would be happy to get at least some on Giroud’s wage off the books. There is very little downside from an Arsenal standpoint to moving Giroud.

    Just like almost everything we talk about on this blog we can only speculate and guess what might actually be going on. However, it seems reasonable to suspect that the problem with a Giroud transfer is probably Giroud not wanting to be moved. No?

  43. Orson

    May be I am wrong about what Giroud wants. I have been wrong on rare occasions in the past. ;).

    Giroud can’t even guarantee that he will play regularly for Dortmund right from day 1 and he is coming in mid season with less then 1/2 season and he would have to hit form immediately and start scoring goals. If he has a slow start or his hamstring injury is a problem then its a very long way from a slam dunk that moving will automatically mean he will move way up the pecking order for France next summer. Even if moving was a 100% slam dunk and would assure him of being first choice for France next summer you still have to factor in monetary and especially family issues.

  44. C @ 5:57

    Generalizations are never 100% accurate otherwise they would not be called generalization. Every situation is a little different and there are exceptions to every generalization. Coming up with a couple of exceptions does not change the accuracy of the generalization. I think most would agree the #1 and #2 reasons players who are good enough to consider playing for a big club want to move is for more money or to move to a bigger team that would give them a better chance to win a trophy. We talk about that all the time.

    In some cases like Jesé or Morata they recognize they are far enough down on the pecking order that they need to move in order to hopefully prove themselves so they can get the really big money contract with a really big team. I dont know for certain but I doubt either of them took a pay cut when they moved to Chelsea or PSG.

  45. Bill,

    Sorry Bill. That’s absolute tosh. All of it.
    These players would have layed in bed night after night as kids, dreaming of winning the world cup for thier countries.
    Gaining prestige and been imortalized in history. Fuck, I’m sure they still do it as adults.
    It’s not all about money and just because you take a particular view on something does not mean others do.
    A player at the end of his career is absolutely looking at his world cup prospects when it comes to making decisions about his future.
    I know I would.

  46. Bill,

    Obviously no player at any club can be guaranteed regular first team football, what can almost certainly be guaranteed is that Giroud will not get regular first team football at Arsenal.

    If he needs regular first team football, in order to make the French World Cup squad, then has to move to a club where his chances are higher.

  47. Bill,

    I think the problem with your talk of money is that most of the bigger clubs can all pay the same wages its whether they chose to with certain players or not. For instance, Citeh saying they can’t or don’t want to pay what Manure did doesn’t mean they couldn’t. Arsenal saying they couldn’t is rubbish too when you consider what they are paying Arsene. To simply say that wages isn’t apart of it isn’t as simple as you may think, I think the bigger reason is to have the chance to win things because if you can perform then you will always have the chance to make money.

    Morata was CF2 so he was right there and was clearly the heir apparent at CF for Madrid but he wanted to play so he moved. Jese was the same on the flanks behidn Bale and Ronaldo. they may have not taken a paycut but the reason they moved was to play and I think its always interesting how much you discount players moving or wanting to move for match time as opposed to money. The more a player plays to show how good they are the more likely everything else will fall into place but if they don’t play, they don’t stay at a club, the less wanted they are at a club the more willing the club is to take what they can get or send them packing. For instance, Shaqiri was at Bayern and we all know how talented he is but he wasn’t playing and his career and everything surrounding it was diminishing so he moved to get more match time.

  48. Can’t imagine what the problem is to live for 6 months in Dortmund. It’s a short hop of a flight from London, and I’m sure is wife could afford the time and money to fly over and see him while he’s there. There must be a few decent restaurants there and good accommodation.

  49. Of course if his injury is worse than we know, maybe that stops the deal. Regardless of the upcoming world cup, I am sure he wants to play regularly. Mind you, he would be a great starter in the Europa League.

  50. James,

    Giroud hasn’t been particularly “great” in any of his starts so far. The knock out stages of the Europa League are not the games to start mediocre players in. It is, realistically, our only chance of Champions League football next season.

  51. As long the 2 clubs agree on the money then the only party that I can see who would any significant downside to a player swap being part of the deal is Giroud. I don’t understand why anyone would think it’s unreasonable to suspect that he would be the most likely reason the swap is off the table.

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