On Lichtsteiner and the Different Needs of Clubs, And Some More Gossip.

So, welcome Stephan Lichtsteiner, quite possibly the only time he won’t be referred to as Stephan of Liechtenstein on these pages.

And my goodness, haven’t some people lost all sense of perspective. Arsenal are failing in the transfer market once again, so their spurious logic goes because the right-back is 34 and cost nothing. Announcing his signing on the day Manchester United confirmed Fred in a £53m deal offered a stark contrast of the realities of the two clubs. That’s all some need to be consumed by insanity.

Arsenal need a 34-year-old experienced right-back to add depth and a defensive mindset. Arsène’s philosophy, based on unfettered attack, is reined in and experience brought to bear. Organisation and knowledge passed on, between generations by word of mouth.

As it was throughout human history, even with the onset of written communication. And as it will be again in the dystopian future told by the documentary series Mad Max.

Before then, we have two specialist right-backs in the squad. No more square pegs forced into round holes to give Hector Bellerin a breather. Players will develop in their true positions and realise their potential. Or be sold, one of the two. Which is a massive responsibility to place on the shoulders of one free transfer signing, even if he is from Juventus.

This is a player who has seven Serie A titles; he was in at the beginning of Juventus’ success and remained there, playing 200+ Serie A games and winning 99 caps.

Welcome to Arsenal. I don’t expect you to play 60 games per season, but I’m guessing that if required you would do so. The only thing I hope is that your arrival improves Hector Bellerin. That, along with coaching, that young man reaches his potential.

Or reach his maximum sale value, if needed.

One In, All In

The accent on leadership from both himself and Unai Emery underlines the expectations the club has. “Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad,” according to the coach; ” I hope I can bring a lot of experience, a lot of mentality,” according to the player.

Mentality in the experience sense, not in the Jack Grealish lying in a drunken stupor on a Shagaluf street.

The signings are moving along, with Sokratis arrival all but confirmed by his father on a Greek radio station. He rejected Manchester United because they told him to wait until July; he didn’t want to and I suspect, Sven’s chat-up lines proved persuasive.

Both signings are important for the club. Our priorities are different to those of United and Liverpool. I’m not saying we wouldn’t be improved by Keita or Fekir, of course we would. However, we need strengthening at the back more than an attacking midfielder. Keita is slightly different but with what we need this summer, out of our price range.

You can amortise all you want, but the reality is that our budget is whatever it is. The aspect which is pleasing for want of a better word, in that there is a ‘seriousness’ about the transfer business. Fantasy tattle is few and far between; it’s out there but it’s almost as if someone is leaking stories to the press so they don’t need to make things up. Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin…

The ‘big’ signing of the summer may be Steven N’Zonzi. To do so, the club must trigger his £35m release clause said Sevilla’s sporting director Joaquin Caparros as he opened negotiations through the back pages. So, we know what the total bill might be, but Raul can strut his funky stuff and talk it down.

Predicting the Future

The sense of purpose about the business fuels optimism that we mean business off the pitch; can we do the same on it. Too many pundits before the season starts will look at the squad and remember last season, underestimating the impact a change in coaching staff and philosophy can have.

Those who don’t adapt won’t survive in the squad. January, I think, will be busy with the first of the ‘surplus stock’, those who failed to impress Emery in the first half of the season, passing through the exit door.

A long way off and at the moment, those decisions aren’t fully made. I’m sure he has an idea of the who’s but not yet fully decided.

Finally, to those who’ve ‘signed up’ to the World Cup predictions competition, I’ll send out the info in the next 24 hours. To anyone else who would like to take part, send your details to competitions [at] aclfarsenal [dot] co [dot] uk.

’til Tomorrow.


28 thoughts on “On Lichtsteiner and the Different Needs of Clubs, And Some More Gossip.

  1. John says:

    Very sensible post. Makes a change to read something like this.

  2. C says:

    Agree with all that Yogi!

    Lichtsteiner was brought in to help Bellerin develop and provide the leadership that we are losing with Mert’s retirement. Lichtsteiner will also be able to provide Bellerin some rest which he rarely got despite basically having to deal with the whole right wing by himself mosy matches.

  3. C says:

    Welcome Yacine Adli!

    That boy is a true talent and he is tall at 6’1 or 6’2 but quick and pacey and a sublime talent. Really excited about him.

  4. Dukey says:

    Exciting signings…..nice to have another guy picking the signings now. As it was clear it was becoming one of Wenger’s sore points. ( that and getting away points and so on and so on….etc….

  5. C says:

    If there is any truth to us chasing Gelson Martins, that would solve our winger problem!

  6. Limestonegunner says:


    Is he that tall? Wikipedia lists 1.79 meters which is 5’10/11” but it is true that he looks over 6’ in the videos I saw. Seems to have skills as well as defensive strength—box to box qualities. But if we are expecting him to solve our recent midfield woes for next season, we are in trouble. Let’s get Torreira and Ducoure.

  7. Limestonegunner says:

    YW, I think actually that aliverpool has done exactly the business we needed to do. We needed a rugged comparative skilled box to box midfielder like Keita, a defensive midfield virtuoso who can pass like Fabinho, and a commanding CH like Virgil van Dijk. Unfortunately we have been slow in our business dealings and have fallen out of CL when we would have been able to compete for these players.

    So we are looking at Nzonzi or Ducoure level for DM and Torreira type for the box to box.

    The only player they have gone for recently that we don’t really need is Fekir. They will be shopping for a keeper and we also need one. They are able to attract better options and have more funds from selling so well with Coutinho. Our sales have been plentiful but not lucrative.

    So am agree we are now operating sadly in anothe universe but most of the players they have been recruiting are exactly what I would have wanted to meet our needs in midfield and defense and, likely, between the sticks if they get Alisson or Oblak.

  8. Limestonegunner says:

    I think Lichtsteiner makes a lot of sense—veteran on a free to be backup RB and squad defender. We needed a CB, so I guess Sokratis is fine; we’ll have to see. The kid Adli is great, but one for the future. We hope Emery proves better and developing young players than AFC’s recent record suggests but he is unlikely to be a factor next season in attempting to reach the goal of CL football. You never know, but surely unlikely.

    To my mind our transfer business doesn’t look very exciting at all so far. But of course we can’t compete for the top players in the positions we need with big clubs offering competitive wages, CL football and a greater chance to compete for big trophies than us. However, even given these constraints, I don’t yet see a lot of ambition or imagination in our moves so far, assuming we do get the three players mentioned above that have been announced or look very close.

    If we do get Torreira, Ducoure, and a good GK, I’ll be encouraged. Add a real attacking threat from wide positions and I’ll be ecstatic! Confident about top 4 and hopeful we can make some noise and beat some big teams this season, maybe win the NLD away and take points against Pool and beat one of the Manchester clubs at home. That would be terrific.

    It’s early, so let’s see.

  9. lari03 says:

    If Adli is signed and he was promised playing time. Then I think we have closed our CM purchases for this window. Because we now have Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland Niles and Adli competing for the 2 central roles.

    Except we sell Ramsey, this might be the end of the DM chase. What we would have would be 1 running(Adli & AMN) and 1 stationary (Elneny & Xhaka). These are my thoughts and permutations based on the current realities.

    Goalkeeper and Centre back are yet to be filled. The world cup will be interesting for Emery, because he will be watching Iwobi, Campbell, Xhaka, Welbeck & Ospina to see if they can adapt to his methods.

    Ramsey might be the Ozil replacement as attacking CM.

  10. C says:


    Whenever I have seen him, he looks the same height as Rabiot. Don’t think he will be promised playing time but I bet its easier for him to get to the first team at Arsenal than PSG.

  11. Silly Sausage says:

    Anyone else think that going for Jack Butland would be a good bit of business?

  12. jw1 says:


    Hard to say how often Wiki is updated on a 17yo French MF.
    Being 17, he may have grown since then!


  13. jw1 says:

    And as it will be again in the dystopian future told by the documentary series Mad Max.
    A few years ago I’d joked about our system of government stateside– being documentaried in ‘Idiocracy’.

    Now I’d happily accept it.


  14. C says:


    The GK situation will be interesting because Leverkusen has said Leno can leave but reports say Emery might want his old GK Rico from Sevilla. I wouldn’t even mind us going back to PSG and trying to grab Trapp.

    Real shame is that we had a quality GK who was maturing, finding consistency and coming off 2 brilliant seasons but we sold him to keep an old shaky GK and a solid #2.

  15. C says:

    Evans to Leicester is good business for them.

  16. Limestonegunner says:


    Good point. My son is 10 and seems to grow every other month!

  17. Michael says:

    Yogi, the picture clue….We got some Zulus incoming!!! 🙂

  18. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Some good signings so far.. I imagine Sokritis will be announced soon but I can’t see Soy or Seri happening now Chelsea have got their claws in. Tbh I’m happy with mavrapanos…. I still don’t know why we’re not going hells for bells for Mayer…. Free transfer and he’s an amazing talent

  19. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Im a bit shocked Emry has been here a month and no updates on wilshere or Ramsey contracts….

  20. C says:


    I honestly think that Jack and Ramsey will be Plan B or C should we not get pivot more in the mold of what he wants. There was talk and rumors of 200k/wk Ramsey was set to get for 5 years but that has all gone quiet as has any chatter with Jack.

    If we get a pivot like Nzonzi, Sanson, Anguissa, or the pleathora of other pivots that are out then, then I could see Ramsey sold and Jack told he won’t be coming back.

    I think even more interesting is that outside of Jack’s links to West Ham, there has been little chatter about any other club wanting either Jack or Ramsey.

  21. Thethreewisemen says:

    Emery is the best thing that has happened to our club in recent years. We are assuming that he and Sven are getting the players er need, the constraints being the limited cash available, and the lack of CL opportunities . But, Emery is a brilliant coach, and we need to trust him to make our existing players work hard and getting the best out of them. He has the track record in doing it.

  22. Thethreewisemen says:

    Looking at how brilliantly Eddie Nketiah played today , Emery would have watched him, he and AMN with other 2 younger talents ( with that Greek youngster) can be fast tracked into steady presence in the first team. Emery is the best coach to do this, and we need to be optimistic.

  23. Buckagh says:

    Can’t see a new keeper coming in this season, maybe with a more solid defence in front of Czech and new goalkeeping coach he might recapture some of his mojo

    Aldi imo will be in the first team by Xmas don’t think he has come to play in youth teams or under 21
    C is it correct that Juventus are looking for a #1 keeper so Won might be available

  24. C says:

    Wonder if Gooners will feel differently of Ozil misses some of the World Cup through an injury that caused him to miss the last couple of matches for Arsenal…

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